- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
Throughout his first term, many of President Obama’s disappointed supporters charged that his administration had never really followed through on efforts to implement his January 2009 executive order closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Whether due to congressional resistance or the difficulty of finding countries to take in detainees, the issue seemed to have faded as a priority. But in the last month of his presidential campaign, Obama surprised many by insisting to Jon Stewart that closing Gitmo was still on his agenda:
“I still want to close Guantanamo,” Obama said in an interview for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” according to a media pool report. “We haven’t been able to get that through Congress.”
“One of the things we have to do is put a legal architecture in place, and we need Congressional help to do that,” Obama said, adding that “any President’s reined in in terms of some of the decisions we’re making.”
So what’s happened since then?
On January 4, he put aside a threatened veto and signed a Defense Authorization bill putting severe restrictions on his ability to relocate detainees out of Guantanamo.
And yesterday, as the trial of alleged 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed resumes at Guantanamo, it was announced that Daniel Fried, the veteran diplomat who had been working on the thankless task of repatriating detainees, was reassigned by the State Department and is now being replaced.
The opening days of Obama’s second term have brought developments on long dormant issues including gun control, women in the military, immigration reform, and at least a rhetorical nod to climate change. But there don’t seem to be many indications so far that the administration is putting Gitmo back on the table.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |