Over the past few days Republicans in Congress have begun a sustained attack on the President for pursuing a Guantanamo Bay policy that they say would result in a scenario tantamount to terrorists being released in the United States.
On Wednesday, Senate Republicans put out a mock movie preview titled, "Guantanamo Bay Terrorists: Coming To A Neighborhood Near You?" The Michael Bay-esque clip seems designed to suggest that detainees at the Cuba-based facility will be moving in next door once the prison is closed -- per the Obama administration's order.
"Over the past two weeks, I and others have asked the Attorney General to provide the American people with the assurance that closing Guantanamo will keep the American people as safe as Guantanamo has. We've asked a series of questions. So far, these questions have gone unanswered," read a separate statement from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The whole thing is a bit absurd, not least because it has been ruled that these detainees have the right to challenge their detention in a U.S. civilian court. Politically, the argument is a loser. In an interview, prominent GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio told Greg Sargent that such a line of attack risks making the party look "out of touch and irrelevant."
Mainly, however, the proposition that Obama is making the country less safe by potentially transferring Guantanamo detainees to domestic locations is an indictment, in a way, of those U.S. security facilities. Some of these centers, after all, hold mass murderers, serial killers and other military prisoners.
Either way, the line of attack against Obama is picking up some steam, in part because congressional Democrats -- including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- are withholding comment on the policy until a report on detention practices is released in July. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked about the topic during Wednesday's briefing and this is what he had to say:
"The review that the president ordered at the very beginning of this administration is ongoing. I know the Justice Department and many players throughout the White House are involved daily on this issue," he said. "There have been discussions [with Republicans] but I will check exactly at what level. But the president and his team are working the review and again there are many decisions that have to be made over the course of the year long period outline [at the beginning of his presidency]."