Debra Saunders, on how some in Berkeley, California want to bring Gitmo detainees to their city:
On Feb. 15, on the recommendation of its Peace & Justice Commission, the Berkeley (Calif.) City Council is set to vote on a resolution to invite "one or two cleared" Guantanamo Bay detainees to resettle in Berkeley.
Peace & Justice Commissioner Rita Maran told me that the idea was to invite to Berkeley "the kind of people you'd like to have living next door to you or dating your cousin."
While the resolution doesn't name the one or two detainees, her panel presented material that cites two -- Russian-born Ravil Mingazov and Algerian-born Djamel Ameziane -- whom it claims have been "cleared." The resolution also asserts that "cleared" detainees have been determined to "pose no threat to the United States." Where they got that information, I do not know.
Given that the Director of National Intelligence reported in December that 25 percent of released Gitmo detainees have been confirmed or suspected of engaging in terrorism, the commission's assertion would not be reassuring, if it were true.
As Thomas Joscelyn, senior fellow for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, observed, "There's an entire mythology" about detainees being exonerated, when they've simply won conditional releases or habeas corpus petitions.
President Obama's own task force looked into Guantanamo's 240 detainees in 2009. While it approved some transfers and conditional releases, Joscelyn noted, "They didn't find any innocent goat herders."