Praise the Lord. Max Fisher has taken on the thankless task of explaining to both left and right why the Taliban prisoner exchange isn’t either of the following:
- The first step in a secret plan from the lawless despot Obama to close Guantanamo.
- Proof that Obama could have closed Guantanamo all along and that he now has no excuse not to.
Obama is not going to close Guantanamo. The legal loophole he used in the Bergdahl prisoner exchange—no matter what you think of it—flatly wouldn’t apply to shutting down the entire prison. Plus there’s the fact that Congress would go ballistic if he tried—including plenty of Democrats. Impeachment would go from a fever dream of the tea-party right to a very realistic bipartisan possibility. Finally, there’s frankly never been much evidence that Obama cares all that much. He’d obviously like to shut down Guantanamo, but he just doesn’t feel that strongly about it.
So give it up. Guantanamo will be here through the end of Obama’s presidency, and quite possibly until its last prisoner dies. It’s fanciful to think anything else.