People will never agree on the propriety of the U.S. military detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which was established in January 2002 as a result of the terrorist attacks upon the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
George W. Bush was president, and he faced a lot of criticism over detaining 775 terrorists and suspected terrorists. President Obama made closing “Gitmo” an important item on his to-do list when he took office in 2009.
While not widely discussed, many detainees were released during Bush’s terms in office. As of January 2016, ninety-three remain.
Irrespective of the data showing the detainees returning to plot and fight against America, President Obama is set on the closure.
Government statistics are not easy to locate. That’s no surprise, because there is an agenda to follow.
The Pentagon reported that Abdul Hafiz was released in December 2009. It is known he returned to terrorism with the Taliban in Afghanistan by the end of March 2010. He’d been suspected “of being the head of Madrassas — the arm that recruits men to fight for the Taliban and kept in contact with other Taliban leaders” (per government documents). Other charges were murdering a Red Cross worker, overseeing ransom demands of kidnapped victims and coordinating overall Taliban activities.
In the same report by Foxnews.com, with Pentagon information and an anonymous U.S. senior official, 560 detainees have been released. The Pentagon estimates 20 percent of those released “have returned to terror.”
John Brennan was deputy national security advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and was Obama’s chief counter-terrorism advisor and for a time, director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
A concerned Brennan wrote a letter to then-Speaker of The House Nancy Pelosi in February 2010 advising that the recidivism rate of released detainees was about 20 percent, nearly double the January 2009 estimates.
Reuters reported March 15, 2012, that “92 of the 532 Guantanamo detainees released before January 22, 2009 – two days after Bush left office – were confirmed to have returned to the battlefield, and 70 were suspected of having done so – an aggregate recidivism rate of 30.5 percent.”
And though the current estimate is higher than ever, it’s still a low-ball one, says Lt. Col. Jeff Addicott, director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary’s University and a former green beret and judge advocate general. He calls anything less than 30 to 40 percent a low ball figure, claiming that “a lot of these folks go underground, they change their name, they hide out a little bit, they pop back up.”
Obama asserts the main reason for closing Gitmo is the expense of keeping prisoners there.
Here’s why – and the president’s policy is part of the problem.
A big part of their detention is “rehabilitation.”
The detainees received laptops, computer lessons, a pricey computer lab, phones, take-out fast food, basic user skills and basic language skills so they can “be reintroduced into a modern society when the president (Obama) fulfills his campaign promise of releasing them.”
Addicott opines that the chances of rehabilitating these prisoners are “slim to none.” Further, “We’re bending over backwards, we’re wishing, we’re hoping, we’re trying to believe them, we’re trying to rehabilitate them, but these guys are motivated by a cult-like religious ideology, and it’s real hard to rehabilitate people in that type of system.”
Terrorism analyst and former CIA operative Wayne Simmons reported the U.S. spends huge dollars physically to rehabilitate these detainees, as well – advantages they later use for their own purposes.
He said: “When we saw the medical attention they got, it was incredible, after visiting Gitmo multiple times. These guys come in wounded, they take care of their wounds. No limbs? We give them brand new prostheses. Turn them loose, guy goes home, picks up arms and uses that leg to help kill us.”
Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, who runs the detention center, echoed the sentiment to a House panel in 2005, when speaking of Abdullah Mehsud. “He came to us without one leg from about the knee down; we fitted him with a prosthetic leg before he left while in U.S. custody.”
Further, Hood said, that artificial leg cost American taxpayers between $50,000 and $75,000.
Mehsud, aka Said Mohammed Alim Shah, was released and in April 2007 ordered an attack in Pakistan killing 31 people. He evaded capture two months later by blowing himself up.
Simmons recognized the in-your-face reality of releases of these terrorists, saying America must be more discretionary in their reviews before release. “We need to realize that they have a motivation to lie and they’re enemy combatants; we need to do a screening process that’s much more demanding.”
Simmons says pushing these prisoners in civilian courts is wrong.
“We capture them, bring them into detention, we hold onto them, the ACLU steps up and gets them out of jail and turns them loose,” Simmons told FoxNews.com. “All of a sudden they’re criminals. They’re not criminals. They’re enemy combatants.”
Said Addicott: “They are truly too dangerous to release. … I’ve been there. These are the hard core. They don’t bring that rehabilitation game. They scream and yell and throw feces at our guards, saying, ‘We’re gonna kill you, we’re gonna kill you.’”
Americans are placed in a more dangerous life by releasing the detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
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