Doesn’t This Make You Feel Safe?

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that Brazil is looking for a former Guantanamo detainee who entered Brazil and then dropped from sight.

The article reports:

Abu Wa’el Dhiab, who was released in Uruguay in December 2014 after twelve years spent in detention, has vanished after purportedly entering Brazil. Uruguayan authorities claim he was authorized to visit the country as a refugee, but Brazil has no record of his arrival.

According to a report by the Argentinian publication “Infobae,” Avianca Airlines issued an internal alert notifying its employees that the 44-year-old Syrian may be using a passport under a fake name. The airline has refused to provide further comment.

Dhiab was arrested by Pakistani police in 2002 before being sent to Gitmo, but never charged with a crime. He spent seven years protesting his detention with a hunger strike, suffering health problems as a result. He was finally cleared for release in 2009, a move that received great fanfare from civil liberty advocates.

My first thought upon reading this was concern for the Summer Olympics in August, but the article cites another concern:

His disappearance is of particular concern this week, as terrorist attacks around the globe ramp up as the month of Ramadan winds down. It is anticipated that adherents of the Islamic State will view July 6 as perhaps the most valued day of the year for perpetrating acts of terror.

This is an example of why Guantanamo prison needs to stay open and the terrorists there need to stay there. Rehabilitating a terrorist is nearly impossible. Their indoctrination begins at birth and asking them to disavow everything they have ever been taught is not realistic. The book The Blood of Lambs by Kamal Saleem provides a lot of insight as to how a terrorist is taught and trained. I strongly recommend reading it. Meanwhile, we need to keep terrorists in Guantanamo.

Another Terrorist Released From Guantanamo

On Thursday The Washington Free Beacon reported that Abdel Malik Ahmed Abdel Wahab Al Rahabi, Osama Bin Laden’s personal bodyguard, has been released from Guantanamo Prison Camp and sent to Montenegro. Montenegro is a southeastern European country on the Adriatic Sea.

The article reports:

The release was condemned by some in Congress who have opposed the administration’s efforts to shutter Gitmo.

“The administration is playing Russian roulette with America’s safety by releasing 9/11-plotter Abdel Malik Ahmed Abdel Wahab Al Rahabi from Gitmo,” Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) said in a statement. “Rahabi’s transfer abroad is all the more alarming after terrorist Ibrahim al-Qosi resurfaced in December 2015 in the Arabian Peninsula as the top recruiter for al Qaeda after being transferred from Gitmo to Sudan.”

President Obama’s continuing release of terrorists from Guantanamo poses a risk to our soldiers serving in the Middle East and elsewhere. Congress needs to stand up to the President on this and prevent the further release of terrorists.

Congress Needs To Stop Any Further Releases From Guantanamo

Yesterday Front Page Magazine reported that President Obama has released Mashur Abdallah Ahmed al Sabri from Guantanamo Bay detention center and sent him to Saudi Arabia as a free man.

The article reports:

Walid bin Attash, a planner of the USS Cole bombing and who also played a role in the 9/11 attack, is still at Gitmo. His trial continues to drag on while he and his lawyers play games. Rahim Hussein al-Nashiri, another of the planners, is still awaiting trial. But Mashur Abdallah Ahmed al Sabri, one of the members of the USS Cole cell, has already been released by Barack Obama from Guantanamo Bay.

Sabri was rated as a high risk terrorist who is ”is likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests, and allies”, but that was no obstacle for Obama who had already fired one Secretary of Defense for being slow to free dangerous Al Qaeda terrorists and was browbeating his latest appointee over the same issue. 

The very paperwork that was used as the basis for the decision to free Sabri describes him as “a member of a Yemeni al-Qaida cell directly involved with the USS Cole attack”. This cell “conducted surveillance” on the targeted vessel and “prepared explosives for the bombing”. Sabri had been arrested in Yemen for his involvement in the attack before he managed to make his way to Afghanistan.

Now he is a free man and has been sent back to the homeland of terrorism, Saudi Arabia.

After praising the “beautiful religious tradition” of Islam, which the USS Cole terrorists had “twisted”, President Clinton had promised that, “America will not stop standing guard”. 

But under him, it never even started standing guard. 

I understand that President Obama made a promise to close down the detention center at Guantanamo before he leaves office, but his actions are putting American soldiers at risk. The recidivism rate of Guantanamo prisoners has been disputed–claims range from less than 20 percent to over 80 percent. Either way, the death of any American soldiers at the hands of former Guantanamo prisoners is totally unacceptable. Congress needs to take action against these continuing prisoner releases. American lives are at stake.

An Interesting Twist In The Guantanamo Story

Yesterday, Townhall.com posted an article stating the following:

Testifying in front of the House Appropriations Subcommittee Wednesday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch reiterated that transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay Prison to the United States is against the law. From the Washington Times:

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday that federal law flatly prevents President Obama from sending of the the detainees from Guantanamo Bay to U.S. territory, hurting his ability to follow through on his new closure plan.

“That is the state of the law,” she said, pointing to the most recent defense policy law passed late last year, which cleared Congress on a bipartisan vote and which Mr. Obama himself signed into law.

Lynch also pointed this out during testimony in November of last year.

“With respect to individuals being transferred to the United States, the law currently does not allow that,” Lynch testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee. “Certainly it is the position of the Department of Justice that we would follow the law of the land in regard on that issue.”

Now you do have to be aware of the weasel words in that statement. The weasel words are, “With respect to individuals being transferred to the United States, the law currently does not allow that.” I suspect President Obama will attempt an executive order to supersede that law or find another way to get around it. I seriously doubt he will be stopped from moving Guantanamo prisoners here.

However, so far the Republicans do not plan on making the transfer of terrorists to America totally easy. The article reports:

Speaker Paul Ryan immediately pushed back on the proposal, reminding President Obama about bipartisan legislation recently passed in the House and Senate banning detainees from being transferred. Today, Ryan threatened the White House with a lawsuit should President Obama proceed unilaterally.

Really? A lawsuit? Really? How is that any different than a strongly worded letter or an idle threat? If President Obama attempts to bring terrorists into America, he needs to be impeached. End of story. He will have broken his Oath of Office and needs to be removed.

 

Sometimes A Little Obstruction Is A Good Thing

On December 29th, Reuters issued a special report entitled, “Pentagon Thwarts Obama’s Efforts to Close Guantanamo.”

The article reports:

Negotiating prisoner releases with the Pentagon was like “punching a pillow,” said James Dobbins, the State Department special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2013 to 2014. Defense Department officials “would come to a meeting, they would not make a counter-argument,” he said. “And then nothing would happen.”

Pentagon delays, he said, resulted in four Afghan detainees spending an additional four years in Guantanamo after being approved for transfer.

In other cases, the transfers of six prisoners to Uruguay, five to Kazakhstan, one to Mauritania and one to Britain were delayed for months or years by Pentagon resistance or inaction, officials said.

To slow prisoner transfers, Pentagon officials have refused to provide photographs, complete medical records and other basic documentation to foreign governments willing to take detainees, administration officials said. They have made it increasingly difficult for foreign delegations to visit Guantanamo, limited the time foreign officials can interview detainees and barred delegations from spending the night at Guantanamo.

Partly as a result of the Pentagon’s maneuvers, it is increasingly doubtful that Obama will fulfill a pledge he made in the 2008 presidential election: to close the detention center at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Obama criticized President George W. Bush for having set up the prison for foreigners seized in the “War on Terror” after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S., and then keeping them there for years without trial.

When Obama took office, the prison held 242 detainees, down from a peak of about 680 in 2003. Today, with little more than a year remaining in his presidency, it still holds 107 detainees.

The tone of the article blames the Pentagon for slowing down the release of prisoners and interfering with President Obama’s plans to shut down Guantanamo. It doesn’t mention the security risks or the fact that many of the prisoners released from Guantanamo have returned to the battlefield.

An editorial posted yesterday at Investor’s Business Daily tells the other side of the story.

The editorial at Investor’s  Business Daily reminds us:.

But the prisoner transfer process has been deliberately slowed by career military officials concerned that their subversive commander-in-chief is sacrificing national security for politics.

They worry that release of al-Qaida and Taliban detainees will endanger U.S. troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere — a valid concern, seeing how Obama’s own intelligence czar recently confirmed that 1 in 3 Gitmo transfers have returned to the battlefield.

The editorial at Investor’s Business Daily concludes that they delays have helped protect Americans:

Such delays have resulted in the poor little al-Qaida terrorists spending additional “months or years” at Club Gitmo “after being approved for transfer.”

Yes, how terrible. They’ll have to stay there longer and be “tortured” by satellite TV, state-of-the-art treadmills, elliptical trainers, soccer fields, porn-on-demand, private kitchens, prayer mats, prayer beads, prayer oils, full-menu halal (Islamicly correct) meals, imams and Islamic librarians.

Instead of repudiating these military leaders for going against the president’s plan, we should be honoring these patriotic obstructionists as national treasures.

When Obama took office, Gitmo held 242 detainees. Only 107 remain, but they’re the worst of the worst. They need to stay put, and the patriots in the Pentagon should continue to use any bureaucratic trick they can come up with to block their transfer.

“You’re detaining them to prevent a future threat,” as Lietzau says. “They are the enemy. If you were captured in war, of course you wouldn’t release that person — they’re still the enemy, they still want to fight you, they still want to kill you. I know of American lives that have been lost because of detainees that we have released. You detain them until the end of hostilities.”

Or at least until this terrorist-sympathizer leaves the Oval Office.

The President has a Constitutional duty to protect Americans. Closing Guantanamo and releasing dangerous prisoners does not comply.

In The Hope That You Are Busy With Christmas Preparation…

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily reported that the Pentagon has cleared seventeen more Guantanamo prisoners for release.

The article reports:

Release of the 17 supposedly “low-level” combatants, many of them from Yemen, where war rages, brings the number of Gitmo prisoners down to 90. We were told that “Osama bin Laden‘s cook,” Ibrahim al-Qosi, released by Obama from Gitmo in 2012, was low-level, but now he cooks up terrorist operations as a celebrity leader of al-Qaida in Yemen.

The Pentagon is going along with this politicized emptying of the Guantanamo Bay holding facility. And the decision coming right after an Islamic State-inspired Christmas party attack within the homeland, which slaughtered 14 innocent Americans, suggests the U.S. military leadership has become a group of puppets.

A major reason for former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel‘s forced departure as Obama’s defense secretary last year after a brief tenure, let’s not forget, was his hesitation in approving Gitmo releases.

Guantanamo was opened for a reason. The prisoners held there are not soldiers–they do not wear uniforms and they are not entitled to the niceties of the Geneva Convention. There is a risk that if we close the facility and bring them to America, they will be given the rights of American citizens to a civilian trial. The danger there would be in the discovery phase of the trial. The discovery phase involves sharing information with the person charged with a crime. In that case, there is a strong possibility that classified information would find its way into the possession of people who do not wish America well.

Guantanamo is not a horrible place. Right now it is a necessary place. Emptying Guantanamo out while the war on terror continues is simply unwise.

Why We Can’t Close Guantanamo

Fox News is reporting today that Ibrahim al-Qosi, who was transferred to Sudan from Guantanamo prison in 2012 has resurfaced.

The article reports:

A former Guantanamo detainee has appeared in the latest video released this week by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Among the senior Al Qaeda leaders featured in the video is Ibrahim al-Qosi, who was transferred to his native Sudan in July 2012 after being held for 10 years at the U.S. base in Cuba. According to the Foundation For Defense of DemocraciesLong War Journal blog, al-Qosi joined AQAP last year and has since become one of its leaders.

The video, entitled “Guardians of Sharia” shows al-Qosi and other AQAP commanders discussing the terror group’s policy of encouraging attacks against the West by individuals and small cells. The video also emphasizes the importance of following the teachings of experienced terror ideologues — a likely reference to ISIS, whose rise over the past 18 months has overshadowed Al Qaeda’s long-running terror campaign.

Al-Qosi, who first moved to Afghanistan in 1996, was among the first prisoners taken to the Guantanamo, the hastily arranged detention center to hold men suspected of ties to Al Qaeda and the Taliban after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Guantanamo has to stay open until Muslims stop killing people. That may take a while.

Closing Guantanamo–One Prisoner At A Time

The Washington Examiner reported today that Shaker Aamer was released Friday from Guantanamo Bay Prison and returned to London. That leaves the number of prisoners remaining at Guantanamo at 112.

The article reports:

Though his supporters claim he was cleared for release by the Bush administration eight years ago, a case file prepared in November 2007 classified him as a high risk, noting that he was captured in Jalalabad after fighting with al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the group’s last Afghan stronghold of Tora Bora.

Detainee is a member of al Qaeda tied to the European support network. Detainee is a close associate of Osama bin Laden and has connections to several other senior extremist members. Detainee has traveled internationally on false documents and is associated with al Qaeda terrorist cells in the US. Detainee is a reported recruiter, financier and facilitator with a history of participating in jihadist combat,” the file said.

The U.K. Daily Mail reported today:

It was understood he (Shaker Aamer) would go through standard immigration checks but officials declined to say whether any further arrangements would be put in place.

Campaigners spoke of their concerns that the father of four will be tagged or monitored by security services upon his return.

Lord Carlile, the former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, told the Press Association: “The state cannot arbitrarily place restrictions upon him.

“It would be quite wrong to demonise him because there is no evidence to justify demonising him in 2015.

“I am sure there will be state authorities here who would like to interview him in the hope that he will provide them with some assistance in securing the safety of the public in this country.

Time will reveal the wisdom or folly of this policy. Frankly, I am not optimistic.

While We Were Watching The Pope Visit America…

On September 23rd, The Daily Caller posted an article about Abdul Shalabi, a Guantanamo detainee and former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden. Shalabi has been released from Guantanamo and sent to Saudi Arabia.

The article reports:

On December 15, 2001, Pakistani authorities captured Shalabi along with 31 other al-Qaida fighters, who were fleeing from Tora Bora, Osama bin Laden’s mountain complex.

Near the end of December, authorities transferred Shalabi over to U.S. custody, who then was sent to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where he stayed for 13 years.

At the time, the assessment determined Shalabi was too dangerous to release, but the board changed its mind in June, clearing him for release.

One wonders what caused the board to change its mind. There are now 114 prisoners left at Guantanamo. Fifty-two of those have been cleared for release.

The article further reports:

There are 52 detainees left who have been cleared for release. The rest require further detention. President Barack Obama still wants to close the prison before his term is up, and so the Pentagon has investigated domestic facilities to hold detainees in the long-term if the administration manages to shutter Gitmo.

The war against radical jihad is unlike any other war ever fought. The war is not only against America–it is a war against western civilization. It is a war that will not end until the jihadists realize that they have no hope of winning and are not gaining power. Until then there is no reason to close Guantanamo or to let any of the remaining prisoners leave. The actions of President Obama in regard to Guantanamo will cost American lives–either in the near future or the distant future. In closing Guantanamo and letting its prisoners free, President Obama is neglecting his duty to protect the American people. The President will be in office for another year. Hopefully the damage he has done to the country can be repaired after he leaves office. However, that depends on the votes of the American public.

Do We Want To Purposely Bring Terrorists Into America?

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial yesterday about President Obama’s efforts to close the terrorist prison at Guantanamo. The article reports that ‘the Justice Department is quietly renovating a maximum-security prison in Illinois.’ The Justice Department is also examining other American prisons as sites for terrorist prisoners.

There are a number of problems with moving terrorists to America. First of all, do we really believe that their allies won’t attempt to get these people out of American jails by kidnapping Americans, threatening attacks on Americans, etc.? Moving Guantanamo prisoners to America will put American civilians at risk. The advantage of Guantanamo (among other things) is that even if you manage to escape, you really don’t have any place to go that would get you anywhere. Also, if you managed to get away from the Navy base, you had to speak Spanish. In America, all you have to do is get to Dearborn and blend in. The other problem with bringing terrorist prisoners to America is the fact that those of the liberal persuasion will immediately call for trials in civilian courts. If you read the history of World War II, you realize that civilian trials are not appropriate for prisoners of war–the rules of evidence in a civil trial are different than the rules of evidence in a Military Tribunal. In a civilian trial, lawyers would be required to share classified information with lawyers who most likely would have terrorist connections. Also, since when is a terrorist entitled to a civil trial? How much civility did he show his victims?

The prison at Guantanamo is not a perfect solution, but terrorism does not have a perfect solution. If you read The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright or Catastrophic Failure by Stephen Coughlin, you discover the roots and goals of terrorism. The basic goal of Al. Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood is to set up a worldwide caliphate under Sharia Law. The Koran, as the current Muslim leaders have interpreted it, condones any action that will move toward that goal–including murder, lying, and terrorism. Unless we want the prisoners at Guantanamo to continue killing American civilians and American soldiers, we need to leave them where they are.

One final question: Does anyone else see the irony of a President who is very comfortable killing terrorists with drone strikes and no trial at all protesting the treatment of terrorist prisoners at Guantanamo?

Why We Still Need Guantanamo

Yesterday CNN reported that Belgium police had arrested two former Guantanamo detainees on terrorism charges.

The article reports:

One of the former Guantanamo Bay detainees was Moussa Zemmouri, 37, a Moroccan national born in Antwerp, Belgian federal prosecutors announced Friday. The other was an Algerian identified as Soufiane A., who prosecutors believe spent time in Syria.

Both have been charged with participating in the activities of a terrorist group and all five have been charged with attempted armed robbery.

Zemmouri was released from Guantanamo in 2005 and authored a book “Innocent at Guantanamo” after returning to Belgium. His case was featured prominently by the UK Muslim prisoner advocacy group CAGE, which has long maintained that he has no links to terrorism.

In the past it has been acceptable practice to hold prisoners of war until the war was over. Unfortunately, the war on terror may last a very long time, but that is no excuse for sending terrorists back into the world. The recidivism rate of former Guantanamo prisoners is high. Even if it were low, do we want to release people who are trained to kill innocent civilians?

Sending Terrorists Back To Battle

Fox News is reporting today that a Canadian judge has released Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen, who in 2002 threw the grenade that killed U.S. Army medic Christopher Speer as Speer and four others cleared a building in the Khost province following an air raid. Khadr was fifteen at the time.

The article reports:

“Omar Khadr is a convicted Al Qaeda terrorist, guilty of war crimes,” Ezra Levant, author of “The Enemy Within: Terror, Lies, and the Whitewashing of Omar Khadr,” told FoxNews.com. “He murdered a U.S. medic in cold blood. A jury sentenced him to 40 years in prison, but President Obama offered him a plea deal for just eight years, and now parole will reduce that further. This isn’t sufficient, especially given that Khadr has never publicly renounced terrorism or Al Qaeda, or his own father’s terrorism.”

Alberta Court of Appeal Justice Myra Bielby said Thursday there is no evidence of risk in releasing Khadr, now 28, who has been serving his time in an Innisfail, Alta., prison, after being moved from Guantanamo Bay.

When we release prisoners from Guantanamo, we are no longer in control of their prison terms. Because Khadr has never renounced terrorism, I have no doubt that he will rejoin the ‘war on terror’ in some capacity fairly quickly.

The Need For A Wise Negotiator

President Obama does not seem to be a particularly astute negotiator. He issues ultimatums that he does not follow through on (other than those issued to Congress), and he doesn’t seem to know how to exert pressure when negotiating (e.g. Iran sanctions). Unfortunately, he really missed the boat in getting back Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. America exchanged one soldier who possibly deserted for five Taliban leaders. That swap was more than a little uneven. And the story continues.

The U.K. Daily Mail recently reported that one of the Taliban detainees exchanged for Sgt. Bergdahl has contacted members of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network and tried to join their ranks. The five Taliban leaders are being held in Qatar and are to be released in one year. Somehow that does not make me feel particularly secure.

The article reports:

Earlier this week, Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who recently visited Qatar, asserted that all five former Taliban fighters in Qatar’s custody may be looking to return to the battlefield.

‘They’ve had some Haqqani people come to meet with them. … They’re reaching out. The Taliban five are communicating with people inside Afghanistan,’ he told the Associated Press.

Under an agreement negotiated with the Taliban to free Bergdahl in May of 2014, the men must stay in Qatar for a year under surveillance. After that time, they may go wherever they please. 

Pointing out that ‘it’s just a year deal,’ Graham told AP, ‘Just as sure as we’re sitting here, they’re going back to the fight.’

This does not bode well for the safety of the American troops in the area.

The Purchase Of Thomson State Prison In Illinois

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review today about the government’s  purchase of Thomson State Prison in Illinois. Mr. McCarthy believes that the prison is being prepared to house the inmates currently at Guantanamo.

The article reports:

As the 9/11 Families point out, the Justice Department’s court filing on the purchase of the state prison took pains to keep open its option to transfer Gitmo prisoners there. DOJ declares that the purpose of the acquisition includes “provid[ing] humane and secure confinement of individuals held under authority of any Act of Congress, and such other persons as in the opinion of the Attorney General of the United States are proper subjects for confinement in such institutions.” The Gitmo detainees are being held under the authority of acts of Congress — in particular, the 2001 authorization for the use of military force. And Attorney General Holder has been insistent that, in his opinion, civilian federal prisons are fitting holding facilities for enemy-combatant terrorists captured in wartime.

As with many other things (the release of the Blind Sheik, the nasty parts of Obamacare, the crackdown on fracking, etc.), it is a safe bet that there will be no transfers of Guantanamo prisoners there until after the 2012 election.

What is the problem with moving Guantanamo prisoners there? Housing prisoners in the United States rather than on an island makes them easier for terrorists to access or to create hostage situations near the prison. Because the prisoners are actually on United States soil, it is only a matter of time before lawyers will get involved and find a legal loophole to let the prisoners loose on American streets. Generally, housing terrorists on American soil is just a bad idea.

This is another illustration of the need for a new administration in Washington.

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