12:18 PM, Jan 25, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says it won't be easy to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. The outgoing Pentagon chief made the comments to NPR:
Can Obama keep his revised promise to close the Guantanamo facility before leaving office? "It's going to be very difficult," Hagel said, "especially if the Congress further restricts where these last 122 detainees go." Congress has already barred them from being sent to the United States.
NPR has more:
Hagel's resignation, never fully explained in public, was privately blamed on a variety of factors – one of them being White House frustration with his handling of Guantanamo. No detainee could be transferred out of the prison until Hagel certified that the prisoner would be placed in some other situation where he would not pose a threat to the United States. This was not easy to do.
In the NPR interview, Hagel said that transferring any detainee required action from many parts of the federal government. Diplomats, for example, had to find a country willing to receive each detainee, since there is no political appetite to allow them into the United States. Hagel added that he had a duty not to formally certify that any detainee could leave until there had been "substantial mitigation of risk of these individuals returning to the battlefield to threaten the United States or our people or our allies."
"Has there been a slowing of that [process], which hasn't always made me popular in some quarters? Yes," Hagel said.
"I've made that very clear to the president and to everyone, to the Congress: If it's my responsibility by law, which it is as secretary of defense, then I will do everything I can because the American people rely on that."
Of course, as NPR notes, Obama promised to close Gitmo as soon as he became president of the United States.
10:27 PM, Jan 14, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Department of Defense announced this evening that five more terrorists have been transferred from Guantanamo Bay. This time, four have been transferred to Oman and one to Estonia. Here's the press release announcing the release to Oman:
Detainee Transfer Announced
The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of Al Khadr Abdallah Muhammad Al Yafi, Fadel Hussein Saleh Hentif, Abd Al-Rahman Abdullah Au Shabati, and Mohammed Ahmed Salam from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to Oman.
Jihadist Moazzam Begg, the Gitmo snitch
8:01 AM, Dec 17, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Ex-Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg is back in the news this week. On Sunday, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria interviewed Begg to get his perspective on the recently released report, written by Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, concerning the CIA’s controversial interrogation program. Zakaria teased Begg’s segment at the beginning of his show, saying, “Moazzam Begg wants an apology. He was held in U.S. prisons and says he was abused and witnessed torture. What is his response to the report?
7:25 AM, Nov 19, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
An ex-Guantanamo detainee based in northern Pakistan is leading an effort to recruit jihadists for the Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that controls large portions of Iraq and Syria.
Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, who was detained at Guantanamo for three years, has sworn allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. Dost’s oath of allegiance was issued on July 1, just two days after Baghdadi named himself “Caliph Ibrahim I” and declared that his Islamic State was now a “caliphate.”
12:33 PM, Oct 31, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
If one objective of the bombing campaign in the Mideast was to stop – or, at least, reduce – the flow of fresh recruits to ISIS, then it has failed. As Greg Miller of the Washington Post reports
'Obama’s Foreign Policy Is on the Ballot'9:01 AM, Oct 27, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Republican National Committee announced today a new ad campaign arguing "Obama's Foreign Policy Is on the Ballot" in next week's election.
Here's the ad:
3:41 PM, Oct 10, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
House Speaker John Boehner has issued this statement in response to a press report indicating that the Obama administration might bring the Gitmo terrorists to America:
2:21 PM, Jun 16, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The War on Terror may be over but the warriors seem to be keeping busy. Which could mean that those already in captivity should be kept there and that space should be available as more are captured.
4:53 PM, Jun 9, 2014 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Did the detainees in Guantanamo Bay know about the transfer of five senior Taliban commanders before members of Congress?
5:35 PM, Jun 7, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
There is a concerted push to sanitize the records of four of the five Taliban leaders transferred from Guantanamo to Qatar. But before delving into some of the specifics, let us recount the basic facts.
Three years ago, Obama went to court to keep a Taliban leader at Gitmo. Now he's out.11:00 AM, Jun 7, 2014 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
While some top Obama administration officials are downplaying threats posed the five senior Taliban officials released from Guantanamo in the prisoner exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, not long ago the administration went to court to prevent one of those men from going free.
Hosted by Michael Graham.2:15 PM, Jun 3, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with Thomas Joscelyn, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and frequent contributor on why the Bergdahl swap is a terrible deal for American Security.
11:08 AM, Jun 3, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
At the White House press briefing Monday, Jay Carney was not asked directly about his statement from June 2013 that "we would not make any decisions about transfer of any detainees without consulting with Congress and without doing so in accordance w
7:00 AM, Jun 2, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Several men who served with Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan say Bergdahl deserted in 2009 before being captured by the Taliban. Bergdahl's release this weekend as part of an exchange with the U.S. for five top Taliban operatives who were being held in Guantanamo Bay has prompted those servicemen to speak out. Jake Tapper at CNN reports: