President Obama wrong on SCOTUS decision, admitted Gitmo is ‘pristine, professional operation’ to 9/11 and USS Cole families

Friday, Debra Burlingame was among the 40 family members of the 2,975 murdered on September 11 and the 17 sailors murdered aboard the USS Cole who met with President Obama. During the meeting, President Obama was wrong on the law, wrong about what Boumediene v. Bush afforded the detainees held at Guantanamo, and stated the public’s perception about Guantanamo is confused with Abu Ghraib. … There is more.

She spoke with talk-radio host Steve Malzberg this afternoon about the meeting; here is the audio:

Editor — Ms. Burlingame, a former attorney and a director of the National September 11 Memorial Foundation, is the sister of Charles F. “Chic” Burlingame III, the pilot of American Airlines flight 77, which was crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. In addition, she co-founded 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America, in 2004.

Update: See a report on today’s ‘Keep Gitmo Open‘ press conference in D.C., with Senator James Inhofe, 9/11 family members Lorraine Arias-Beliveau, Geraldine Davie, Hamilton Peterson, and Debra Burlingame, and Gold Star mother Debbie Lee.

  20 comments for “President Obama wrong on SCOTUS decision, admitted Gitmo is ‘pristine, professional operation’ to 9/11 and USS Cole families

  1. Jen
    February 11, 2009 at 10:18 am

    “You, you are obviously a lost cause (and I am not talking about your typos). The fact is there remains in force a binding treaty with Cuba for America’s continued use of the land and rights of way for Guantanamo Naval Station. Class dismissed; go do your homework now, L. ”

    Hahaha thats great!

    Anyway, I would like to state that one of the prisons that they are considering moving them to is Ft Leavenworth, 15 minutes from my house, my family, and my friends. Our local politians are fighting to prevent it, because NOBODY wants them around here. Nobody. Do you really think that anyone would want them anywhere else in the US? Everyone says, “Shut it down, get them out of Cuba.” Have they stopped to think where they will be moved to?

    Donald and Angela, do you want them 15 minutes from your house?

    And, IMO, if they were torturing them…so what? Do whatever is needed to keep us safe. I lost a very good friend in Towers, lets not make his death be in vain. Open your eye’s to what the world is really like, before it’s too late.

    My advice to Obama: Start thinking more about protecting us, then about protecting your political popularity. Alot of people, foolishly or not, are counting on you to make a difference…don’t let them down.

    Editor — Just to further L’s education:

    “December 16, 1903. The U.S. signs a treaty with the Cuban government leasing Bahía Honda and Guantánamo Bay. There is no 99-year clause, and the treaty can only be terminated when both governments agree to the termination.”

    According to Gordon Cucullu, Cuba has not cashed the annual “rental” checks the U.S. sends it since Castro took over. Obviously, their government does not want us there yet that alone does not negate the deal.

  2. Eric S.
    February 11, 2009 at 9:16 am

    I just wish we’d adhere to the Geneva Convention… since the prisoners were not uniformed military of a sovereign nation, they’re either spies or sabateurs — both of which we can freely execute under the Geneva convention.

  3. Brad
    February 11, 2009 at 7:53 am

    I have worked with detainees in my two deployment to Iraq. These detainees do NOT deserve the rights Obama wants to give them. He may see the “reports”, but he has not been face to face with Jihadis. He has not been spit on, shot at, or seen how they think or what they are willing to do to further their ideology. This is appeasement added to the politics of expediency at the expense of the safety of our nation. Terrorism should be treated as a WAR, not a law enforcement problem.

  4. Glynn
    February 10, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    I’d like to mention to L, who so graciously outlines how very much TIME Obama spent with the families. It is indeed unfortunate that he could not have informed them of his decision regarding those who bombed the Cole before he informed the media and virtually every other outlet known to man. Please. Obama spent the time because he did the wrong thing down the line, but he was called on not letting the families know first. Inexcusable. All of it.

    Editor —

    Yes Glynn, and he signed the Executive Order less than 48 hours in as President with 16 former military men present “who had come to [him] with their concerns.” Somehow, he forgot to add that all of those “victims” are mostly former military lawyers and current members of Human Rights First, to include one current board member there.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are true victims here; our dead and all those killed and maimed by al Qaeda’s killers are victims. All the mentally challenged al Qaeda suited with explosive vests, sent near to a target, and set off are victims. All the men, women, and children al Qaeda gang raped, butchered, decapitated, and otherwise truly tortured are victims.

    Yes, battle-hardened American soldiers and intelligence professionals in harsh lands, themselves often operating in crude conditions, handled rough, dangerous, and non-compliant men roughly. And yes, while the captured latter continued to plot and conduct asymmetrical and unlawful warfare — often violently — they were aggressively interrogated, to include three among them subjected to the very technique used to “torture” many thousands of our own troops during SEER training. Of course, our side treated those unlawful combatants in rough ways to saves lives, not to take them. Yet we all know that it is better for thousands more to die than one murdering b******* be discomforted. However, I digress. …

    Those 16 ‘fat and happy’ former senior officers had concerns, were consulted, watched the signing, and smiled brightly as the shutters shuttered. I am sure the press corps then all immediately ran off to the Hindu Kush and Mosul to see how our combat troops are faring.

  5. L
    February 10, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Roosevelt Room. Everyone stood up and applauded, spontaneously. Somber tone, because of the Cole families, who were disturbed and upset about charges being dropped against the main defendant in the case. POTUS greeted each person individually, talking for some time. POTUS spoke very briefly, addressing the discomfort in the room. POTUS is wrong on the law and what the process in place provides. POTUS is a good listener and spent twice as much time alloted at first. Asked about Guantanamo, POTUS shows he understands that what happened in Abu Graib tainted the entire image of US military presence around the world. He appears to think there’s a different solution from what the interviewee thinks.

    (by the way, have you stop to consider that what has happened in Guantanamo, takes place in ilegally occupied Cuban territory? Just THAT fact should make any POTUS with any common sense to shut down such a place of dubitous practices)

    For what you say, that was a really good meeting. Too bad POTUS doesn’t see EVERYTHING eye to eye with you.

    Editor —

    Hopefully, we can help inform President Obama.

    You, you are obviously a lost cause (and I am not talking about your typos). The fact is there remains in force a binding treaty with Cuba for America’s continued use of the land and rights of way for Guantanamo Naval Station. Class dismissed; go do your homework now, L.

  6. HoodedDasher
    February 10, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Since they are going free, BHO might as well shut down the CIA as their secrets can not be used for anything in this administration.

  7. RetFireman
    February 10, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Stop letting the hippies set the policy for how things are done in this country, especially when it comes to the safety and security of this nation. Every time I hear or read the idiotic comments such as was stated by Donald and Angela above, I am made to wish that there was a particular program where such morons could be sent to live in any of these countries where these poor little misunderstood villagers that were summarily picked up and sent to GitMo or some other detainment place so they can get a dose of realism. Let them try their “Kumbaya” policies there and let them see just how far it will get them.

    The world is a very dangerous place where there are real bad people who want nothing more than to see us dead. Put your beliefs where your mouths are and leave the safety and security of your home and this country. But you won’t, as you have not the guts that any of those serving have. How fast you all forgot, and how ignorant you are. Do a little search on OBL’s “Declaration of War on the US” back in 1998 and his more recent Letter to the American People and then tell us all how your beliefs add up to anything.

  8. liberty4usa
    February 10, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    We were asleep when Islamic extremists declared “war” on us. There is no excuse for the President to re-implement pre-9/11 policies that failed this country, all the victims, and the families. Our liberty is not jeopardized by treating enemy combatants as “enemy combatants” rather than mere criminals. The international law before all this started gave the legal authority to hold these perpetrator indefinitely while hostilities continued. They have not ceased their war.

    Since that time we have been demonized for being inhumane, while they have been granted victim status. This is the insane thinking that is taught as correct in our educational institutions. It is no wonder that Osama Bin Laden mocks us and our system!

    Having to fight one’s own government due to an out of control media which sensationalized a rather minor abuse by a couple of immature soldiers at Abu Ghraib and caused the Arab world to become enraged, must be disheartening to the families. My heart is with you all.

    The president was advertised as someone very smart, and very different politically. So far he has proven to be neither on this unnecessary move.

  9. Cindy Anderson
    February 10, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Has anyone stopped to think what these people may do if blended in with a US prison population? Bad idea. We have US gangs with members in prison who are able to conduct illegal activities though in prison and we certainly don’t need these terrorists inciting more hatred and crime against the US by involving US prisoners. I realize GB has become a bad symbol around the world but it is undeserved…it is propaganda and we have allowed the terrorists to continue the charade. If we can expect our US soldiers to submit to waterboarding, it is not fatal nor leaves permanent physical damage, then I don’t know why it is considered so horrible. It beats the torture that is commonplace in Middle Eastern prisons. No outcry over that.

  10. Cindy Anderson
    February 10, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    It seems alot safer to keep them there than on the mainland US or some other country. There are Red Cross, Amnesty International, etc. overseers watching constantly, and quite frankly from all I have read, they are treated far better than US citizen prisoners in our US prisons. We have dealt with ununiformed US POWs in our past history and they were designated as saboteurs and were tried by military tribunal, during WW II, 6 were sentenced to death and electrocuted, and 2 imprisoned, and eventually returned to Germany after the war. Why is this any different? These people should not be subject to the same rights under our Constitution as US citizens while we are at war and they are enemies of our country. I am sure if one of these men were released and involved with a terrorist act killing US citizens, all the human rights criers would be the first to find fault. If these people are released and kill US servicement, most of the human rights criers don’t seem to care as long as their skin is not on the line.

  11. eaglewingz08
    February 10, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Debra Burlingame is wonderful and I am glad she is holding Obama’s feet to the fire.

  12. donald
    February 10, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    We need to get out of the Middle East, close Gitmo, stop foreign aid, close NASA, and lock down our borders.

  13. February 10, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    I had the exact same thought as Denise about his false representation of the SCOTUS decision.
    I can picture him speaking to the group with his arrogant nose upturned.
    I can’t help but wonder if his forcing of the charges being dropped against these serial mass murderers was part of a deal cut with the Middle East (especially Yemen) instead of an apeasement to his fellow Marxists.
    He was sending little groups over there usurping U.S. foreign policy (google Robert Malley) before he was even elected.

  14. Judith E Kassel
    February 10, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    How can I make corrections to my comment before it is posted? JKassel

    Edior — Unfortunately, our site does not have a ‘preview’ feature. However, if you see that you made an error, send an email to and I will make the correction on your behalf.

  15. Angela
    February 10, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    I am an American too, and I’d rather die free than live in a regime that doesn’t value human rights. We can’t win a war against a technique.

    Some of those people are dangerous, but some of them are small village political dissidents who were turned in for a bounty.

    We are screwed either way. I’d rather be screwed in the name of freedom than safety.

    Editor — If “we are screwed either way,” I’ll go down fighting. Also, your “sold into bounty” comment is a strawman. We paid a $2 million “bounty” for 1993 WTC bomb maker Ramzi Yousef and a $25 million “bounty” for KSM, both paid to Pakistanis.

  16. Judith E Kassel
    February 10, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    The 9/11 and USS Cole Families need to meet with our Military Personnel who will tell them the TRUTH about how the 245, of the thousands of detainees in overseas prisons, housed at GITMO have been positively identified as the most dangerous leaders and planners of terrorists attacks that have left thousands of American, Allied soldiers dead, along with thousands of innocent men, women, and children!

    Additionally, GITMO more than meets the “Geneva Conventions” for prosecuting prisoners. Dietary, religious practices, and medical care are all provided. Besides those benefits, [Military Attorneys review every detainees file on a regular basis] with them.

    Sadly, Obama’s new Attorney General Eric Holder’s DC law firm represents the Yemen government.

    Editor — The words bracketed were added to the second sentence, and sentences #4 and 5 were removed, at the commenter’s request.

  17. Denise
    February 10, 2009 at 11:08 am

    It looks like innocent people may die because Mr. Obama is determined to satisfy the demands of the far left. The truth doesn’t matter. I wonder if he was really wrong on the SCOTUS decision or if he thought the famiiies were not informed enough to catch his false presentaion of facts? I do not trust any politician who does not make the protection of the American people his first priority. And Mr. Obama apparently does not.

  18. Jean
    February 10, 2009 at 11:01 am

    I am curious, you say President Obama is wrong on the law? But you don’t give any details. What is he wrong about?

    Editor — Listen to the audio.

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