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Dems Finally Get the Memo: Yemen's a Problem

2:42 PM, Dec 30, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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All of a sudden everyone is matter-of-factly pointing out that Gitmo detainees shouldn't be sent back to Yemen anytime soon, but nothing has changed in Yemen because of al Qaeda's Christmas Day attack. The attack has just highlighted what was already obvious to people who knew better but ignored the truth. We don't typically get to hear people make apologies for supporting policies that events have proven misguided or worse, but this administration's stubborn and continued determination to send Gitmo detainees to be "rehabilitated" in al Qaeda havens seems particularly shameless. THE WEEKLY STANDARD was pointing out the inherent danger of such a program as early as February of this year. In an article with the not-so-subtle headline "Anywhere But Yemen," Stephen Hayes and Tom Joscelyn wrote:

One of President Obama's first official acts was to order Guantánamo closed. The executive order he signed called for his staff to find a way to close the facility in a manner that is "consistent with the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States." Repatriating large numbers of Yemenis to Saleh's duplicitous regime, which seems to be the new administration's position, is not consistent with that goal.

Hayes and Joscelyn provided an overwhelming amount of data in support of that assertion, all of which was culled from publicly available sources. How could the Obama administration possibly have come to a different conclusion, and why, even now, as Democrats like Diane Feinstein come forward to acknowledge the obvious threat posed by transfers to Yemen, does the administration refuse to concede the point?