President Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, is once again drawing criticism. This time, Brennan’s remarks concerning the Pentagon’s latest Gitmo recidivism study have come under scrutiny.
The Pentagon’s most recent study on Gitmo recidivism concluded that 20 percent of detainees have either been confirmed as, or are suspected of, returning to terrorism. Brennan cited the 20 percent figure in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders earlier this month. Brennan explained that this figure “includes 9.6 percent of detainees who are confirmed recidivists and 10.4 percent of detainees who the Intelligence Community suspects, but is not certain, may have engaged in recidivist activities.”
In a USA Today op-ed this week, assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser John Brennan wrote that "politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of al-Qaeda." He's referring to the bipartisan criticism of the administration's decision to Mirandize the Christmas Day bomber rather than detain Abdulmutallab as an enemy combatant. Accusing your opponents of helping al Qaeda is not the best way to resolve an argument! Yesterday, Alabama senator Jeff Sessions took to the Senate floor to rebut Brennan's arguments. Roll tape:
During an interview on MSNBC Thursday morning, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs defended the Obama administration’s handling of Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Gibbs argued that the administration was right to treat Abdulmutallab as a criminal defendant, instead of as an enemy combatant. “Just because you make somebody an enemy combatant [it] doesn’t make them talk,” Gibbs argued.
It was not too long ago that Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer took to the USA Today op-ed page to accuse Obamacare opponents of being "un-American," and today President Obama's top counterterrorism adviser John Brennan lashes out on that same page at critics of the White House: "too many in Washington are now misrepresenting the facts to score political points, instead of coming to
Jake Tapper of ABC News has obtained a copy of a letter John Brennan, the assistant to President Obama for homeland security and counterterrorism, sent to congressional leaders Monday night. Brennan defends the administration’s efforts to close Guantanamo in the letter. While conceding that the number of former detainees who are “confirmed” or “suspected” of returning to terrorism has risen to 20 percent, Brennan says that all of the recidivists were released during the Bush years. Brennan goes on to argue that the Obama administration has made “significant improvements to the detainee review process,” implying that it is being more careful in determining which detainees can be transferred or released than its predecessor.
Changing the Zip Code of the trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other terrorists from New York City to Somewhere, U.S.A. does not solve the problems a civilian trial raised in the first place. The decision does provide some justice because hundreds of millions of dollars in security costs will not be borne by the city that was the major victim of this terrorist quintet. But security and other issues do not disappear with new geography; they just move to the next location.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is pressing the Obama administration on questions about the handling of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Christmas Day bomber, and makes some news in the process. McConnell notes that several top national security officials offered disturbing testimony yesterday on Capitol Hill about the decisionmaking process on Abdulmutallab -- or why there wasn't one. This leads McConnell to seek answers to "several troubling questions."