Is Negotiating With Graham Costing Obama GTMO Votes?
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) continues to make the case to the Obama administration that he can deliver the Senate votes to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay if President Obama abandons a civilian trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. A new story in Time questions whether either side has actually counted the votes for that prospective deal.
Democrats worry that by negotiating with Graham, the Administration is conceding defeat at the start. “It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy,” says a senior Senate Democratic aide, “because if you let it be known that you might cut a deal because you think you don’t have the votes, then you won’t have the votes.”
Time doesn’t have a hard count either, but it reports that Democratic votes for closing Guantanamo have slipped since last year. While it can’t be determined whether any Democratic votes would have been shored up by a forceful argument from the White House in favor of keeping the KSM trial in civilian court, they’re slipping away in the absence of one.