Guantanamo and the Federal Bureaucracy

Delay of closure –
White House Exec Order 2009 –

“The Obama administration has decided to hold off on releasing a plan to close the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay.” This seems like an innocuous sentence and one that is not a surprise to many, despite Obama’s 2009 executive order supposedly shutting Guantanamo. It’s significance then? The word, “administration”. This is not an order from Obama, this is an action of his Federal Bureaucracy (US equivalent of the civil service) and one that is useful for students when assessing the level of control the President retains over it.

The article is a simply read and I urge you to read it – the word ‘administration’ or ‘official’ appear frequently but no comment from Obama himself. These are people acting on his behalf and it suggests they have a reasonable amount of power – after all, Obama is just one man and cannot do everything. The attacks on Paris have no doubt helped their hand in terms of keeping Guantanamo open and as we near the end of the Obama administration it seems his 2009 executive order has had little impact – a great example perhaps of a lack of control over the Federal Bureaucracy.