7:48 AM, Nov 19, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
After meeting with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, President Barack Obama reiterated his vow to close Guantanamo. The president said that he could Americans safe and release the terrorists held there.
Via the pool report:
[Obama]said that the rhetoric around Guantanamo “alienates Muslim-Americans” in the same way that the rhetoric around refugees does, and said the detention center “has been an enormous recruitment tool for organizations like ISIL.”
“We can keep the American people safe while shutting down that operation.” The population has been “reduced drastically,” with the bulk of transfers happening in the Bush administration.
“We have reduced that population further, and I expect that early by next year we may even have fewer than a hundred people at Guantanamo.”
“We are going to go through, meticulously, with Congress, what our optionsare, why we think this should be closed. I guarantee you there will be strong resistance. Because in the aftermath of Paris, I think that there is just a very strong tendency for us to get worked up around issues that don’t actually make us safer but make for good political soundbites, whether it’s refugees or Guantanamo, those are handy answer, particularly for folks who aren’t interested in engaging in a more serious debate about how we invest in the long, hard slog of dealing with terrorism.”
He again made reference to an AUMF, saying it was easier to talk about Guantanamo than to do the hard work to pass one.
8:24 AM, Oct 31, 2015 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
For years, the British government and a network of anti-Guantanamo activists have agitated for the release of Shaker Aamer. Now their wish was finally granted. Aamer has been released from Guantanamo. He is receiving a hero’s welcome in the UK, where much of the media has treated him as an innocent who was wrongly detained.
11:48 AM, Sep 4, 2015 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released its latest statistics on the number of former Guantanamo detainees who are either confirmed or suspected of returning to the fight. As expected, there has been a slight increase in the number of ex-detainees who have rejoined the jihad.
8:11 AM, Jun 30, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Although President Obama has not yet fulfilled his promise to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the population there is gradually shrinking as detainees are repatriated or released into the custody of foreign governments.
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.
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.