Fox News is reporting today that President Obama has transferred six more prisoners out of Guantanamo. The six are from Yemen and are being transferred to Oman.
The article reports:
Congressional Republicans and other critics of releasing detainees argue they have the strong potential to return to the battlefield or commit other acts of terror.
“It’s extremely troubling that the Obama administration has sent six dangerous terrorists to Oman, which borders Yemen — a country engulfed in civil war and that serves as the headquarters for al Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliate,” said New Hampshire GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“Even more disturbing is the fact that the administration has not provided sufficient assurances to Congress or to the public that these terrorists will not return to the battlefield. If they are not securely detained, no one should be surprised if they travel to Yemen and re-engage in terrorist activities,” she said.
2016 GOP presidential candidate and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said: “President Obama is once again putting his legacy above the safety and security of Americans. We need an effective detention program, not continued transfers of prisoners to countries without clear requirements for their monitoring to ensure they don’t return to the battlefield.”
The release was approved by various government agencies, including the Defense Department and State Department.
There are some valid questions about the release of these prisoners. In the past, prisoners released have returned to the battlefield to fight against American soldiers. There really is nothing that will prevent these six from doing that–Oman borders Yemen, and we have no idea how carefully these men will be watched. Unfortunately we have people in our government who are not looking out for the interests of Americans or American soldiers. The release (or transfer) of these six prisoners is one example of that.
Most of the political left has argued for years that the prison at Guantanamo is a recruiting tool for terrorists. Never mind that 9/11 happened before Guantanamo–that is their story and they are sticking to it. In keeping with the idea of closing Guantanamo (but not actually closing Guantanamo) President Obama has not sent anyone there and is releasing prisoners a few at a time to any country he can bribe to take them. So what happens to these prisoners?
Judicial Watch posted a story today about one Guantanamo alumni. Mullah Abdul Rauf has been busy since his release in 2007 (under President Bush–before Obama).
The article reports:
…he’s (Mullah Abdul Rauf) operating in Helmand province, actively recruiting fighters for ISIS. Citing local sources, a British newspaper writes that Rauf set up a base and is offering good wages to anyone willing to fight for the Islamic State. Rauf was a corps commander during the Taliban’s 1996-2001 rule of Afghanistan, according to intelligence reports. After getting captured by U.S. forces, he was sent to Gitmo in southeast Cuba but was released in 2007.
Rauf’s Department of Defense Joint Task Force Guantanamo file describes him as being closely associated with several senior level Taliban commanders and leaders. It also says that Rauf admitted involvement in the production and sales of opium as well as associations with criminal elements within the Taliban and the Northern Alliance. From the file: “Due to recent findings that detainee may have had a more important role within the Taliban than previously thought detainee’s intelligence value has been updated from low to medium due to his possible knowledge of: (1) Taliban leadership, (2) Taliban command and control.”
Rauf is one of a number of Gitmo terrorists who have returned to the fight after getting released, yet Obama continues freeing captives to keep his campaign promise of closing the prison. Just this week he let four Yemenis go, despite the risk that they will likely join Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen-based terror group that claimed responsibility for last week’s attack in France. In fact, dozens of freed Gitmo detainees have rejoined Al Qaeda in Yemen, the country where the 2009 Christmas Day airline bomber proudly trained. In 2010 Judicial Watch reported that a number of high-ranking Al Qaeda militants in Yemen—once held at Gitmo—may have been involved in a sophisticated scheme to send bombs on a U.S.-bound cargo plane.
Traditionally, prisoners-of-war are released after the war is over. The people at Guantanamo are not technically prisoners-of-war–they are enemy combatants and therefore do not have prisoner-of war status. At any rate, I don’t think the war is over, and why should we release them to kill American soldiers?
In the past, I did an article on an organization called Keep America Safe. That organization has taken its website down, so I have deleted the article. The person who informed me that the link was dead sent me an email with another website with suggestions as to how to keep your family safe during a terrorist attack. The website suggested was safesoundfamily.com. It is a commercial website that sells security equipment, but it also lists many suggestions regarding situational awareness and keeping your family safe.
The good news is that a plot to blow up an airplane (or two) using underwear bombs which would not have been detected by normal screening processes was foiled. The bad news is that somewhere in the foiling of the plot, a lot of classified information was leaked that will hamper our future efforts to foil such plots.
The U. K. Guardian reported the story yesterday. According to the article:
Detailed leaks of operational information about the foiled underwear bomb plot are causing growing anger in the US intelligence community, with former agents blaming the Obama administration for undermining national security and compromising the British services, MI6 and MI5.
The Guardian has learned from Saudi sources that the agent was not a Saudi national as was widely reported, but a Yemeni. He was born in Saudi Arabia, in the port city of Jeddah, and then studied and worked in the UK, where he acquired a British passport.
Mike Scheur, the former head of the CIA‘s Bin Laden unit, said the leaking about the nuts and bolts of British involvement was despicable and would make a repeat of the operation difficult. “MI6 should be as angry as hell. This is something that the prime minister should raise with the president, if he has the balls. This is really tragic,” Scheur said.
I understand that there are many things in our government that are classified that should not be. I also understand that sometimes there is a very obvious reason to keep certain information secret. How many people were put at risk by the leaking of the details of this operation? Whoever leaked the information should be charged with a crime, and the newspapers that published it should also be penalized in some way. There is too much information available about this operation. That fact will limit our ability to prevent such attacks in the future.