Let's begin with the conclusion: Barack Obama is releasing dangerous terrorists against the recommendations of military and intelligence professionals, he's doing so at a time when the threat level from radical Islamists is elevated, and he is lying about it. He is lying about how many jihadists he has released and lying about their backgrounds, all part of his effort to empty the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay.
We write this knowing the accusation is a strong one and that the word lying will offend the sensibilities of the establishment media. There is an unwritten rule that requires euphemizing lies with gentler descriptions, especially when talking about the president of the United States.Read more
The Obama administration is set to release another 17 detainees from Guantánamo Bay. The New York Times reports that the defense secretary has notified Congress of the iminent transfers:
The Obama administration appears to be on the cusp of the largest round of transfers of Guantánamo Bay detainees in a single month since 2007, a move that could reduce the detainee population there to as low as 90 by mid- to late January, according to officials familiar with internal deliberations.
Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter has notified Congress in recent days that he has approved 17 proposed transfers of lower-level detainees, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to
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:Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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?Read more
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.”Read more
Did the detainees in Guantanamo Bay know about the transfer of five senior Taliban commanders before members of Congress?Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
At the White House press briefing, 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 wRead more
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:Read more
The Obama administration announced today that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been held by the Taliban for several years, has been freed from his captors.Read more
Ex-Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg was arrested earlier today as part of raid conducted by counterterrorism officials in the UK. Begg has spent most of his time living in the UK following his release from Guantanamo in 2005. He is one of the most prolific anti-Guantanamo advocates.Read more
The Washington Post reports that U.S. officials suspect Sufian Ben Qumu, an ex-Guantanamo detainee, “played a role in the attack on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya, and are planning to designate the group he leads as a foreign terrorism organization.” Ben Qumu is based in Derna, Libya and runs a branch of Ansar al Sharia headquartered in the city.Read more
An interesting thing happened when McClatchy newspaper’s Tim Johnson went looking for two former Guantanamo detainees in El Salvador. He discovered they had left the country. A State Department spokesman says the U.S. government is aware of their departure, but “will not comment on the specifics of their decision to resettle elsewhere or their current whereabouts.” According to sources familiar with the men, who are ethnic Uighurs, it seems likely they have relocated to Turkey.Read more
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