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.