Obama Releases More From Gitmo – In ‘Overdrive’

Editor’s Note – Obama is making good on his promises from 2008 to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility in furious fashion. With the loss of power in Congress, this may be one of many executive actions we will see take place as Obama’s second term enters the last two years.

Once again, as Senator Kelly Ayotte R-NH said: “The safety of Americans, not the fulfillment of a misguided campaign promise, should guide national security decisions.” Obama is placing America’s needs behind his own as we now see was always his driving motivation.

Similar to what he did with the ‘Taliban5,’ Congress again was ignored:

Despite fierce opposition in Congress to closing the detention facility, however, there is little that lawmakers can actually do to stop the president from continuing to release detainees.

On paper, Congress requires the administration to give 30 days’ advance notice before any transfer, but that was flouted in the case of the Taliban prisoners who were swapped for Bergdahl.

Despite the fact that 56% of Americans want the facility to stay open and the detainees to remain in custody, Obama is moving in ‘Overdrive.’.

Obama’s big push on Guantanamo

By Kristina Wong and Jesse Byrnes – The Hill

102_2014_gitmo8201_c0-249-2187-1523_s561x327President Obama’s push to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp is going into overdrive, with more detainee transfers in the last two months of 2014 than in the previous three years combined.

Since the Nov. 4 elections, Obama has released 22 detainees, in sharp contrast to the period from 2011 to 2013 inclusive, when only 19 were released.

In the first six months of 2014, he had released only six detainees from the facility in Cuba — including the five members of the Taliban who were swapped for prisoner of war Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

With less than two years left in office, the president appears to be going full throttle, promising in a December interview on CNN “to do everything” he can to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise of shutting down Guantanamo, despite congressional opposition.

He released 44 people from the prison camp during his first full year in office in 2009, and 24 in 2010, but transfers then slowed to a trickle, largely due to opposition on Capitol Hill.

In 2011, there were only three transfers; in 2012, five; and in 2013, 11.

So far, Obama has released a total of 111 detainees while in office, according to a Defense official.

In total, of the 780 people detained at the facility, 643 have been transferred, and nine have died while in custody, according to analyses from The New York Times and NPR.AyotteNH

After the administration announced five more transfers on Wednesday, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said she was “deeply troubled by the administration’s continued transfer of dangerous terrorists from Guantanamo.”

“The United States must take every possible measure to prevent former detainees from returning to the battlefield,” she said in a statement Wednesday. “The safety of Americans, not the fulfillment of a misguided campaign promise, should guide national security decisions.”

Ayotte said that almost 30 percent of former Guantanamo detainees have reengaged or are suspected of reengaging in terrorism.

Those concerns are supported by some veterans of the Bush administration.

“The further you go into the pile of Gitmo detainees that are there now, the more dangerous they are,” said retired Navy Cmdr. J.D. Gordon, a former Pentagon spokesman during the Bush administration.

Gordon pointed to the Obama administration recently offering a reward for information on a detainee released from Guantanamo in 2006, who now allegedly serves as a top leader with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

“They just put out a $5 million dollar bounty. So that shows the folly of releasing guys that we were reasonably sure, or we think, may return to terrorism,” said Gordon, who is a senior fellow at the Center for a Secure Free Society.

Despite fierce opposition in Congress to closing the detention facility, however, there is little that lawmakers can actually do to stop the president from continuing to release detainees.

On paper, Congress requires the administration to give 30 days’ advance notice before any transfer, but that was flouted in the case of the Taliban prisoners who were swapped for Bergdahl.

Taliban5Lawmakers have also included restrictions in their annual defense policy and spending bills. For example, the $1.1 trillion funding bill passed by Congress in December bars the transfer or release of those held in Guantanamo to prisons in the United States.

The president has said that under certain circumstances those restrictions could violate the “constitutional separation of powers” between the legislative and executive branches.

However, lawmakers who oppose closing the facility can lean on public support for their cause.

A Fox News poll released earlier this month found that a majority of Americans, 56 percent, want to keep Guantanamo open, compared to fewer than a third, 32 percent, who would prefer it to be closed, and its prisoners be transferred to U.S. facilities.

As part of the administration’s strategy to close the prison camp, officials have begun arguing that housing detainees at Guantanamo is too costly, and that they should instead be held at super-maximum-security prisons within the United States.

“The American people should not be spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year on a facility that harms our standing in the world, damages our relationships with key allies, and emboldens violent extremists. Closing the facility remains a top priority for the president,” said National Security Council spokesman Patrick Ventrell on Wednesday.KazakstanMap

The total cost of detention operations at Guantanamo for fiscal 2014 was $397.4 million, according to Defense statistics. That would bring the average cost per detainee in 2014 to $2.8 million.

According to Politifact, costs at a high-security federal prison as of 2012 are about $34,000 per year per inmate.

Of the remaining 127 detainees left at Guantanamo Bay, 59 have been deemed eligible for transfer after a lengthy interagency review process. Fifty-two of those eligible for release are from Yemen.

However, their potential release is complicated by serious political instability in Yemen. The Yemeni government may not be able to ensure that those released will not return to the fight

Another 10 detainees are currently undergoing prosecution via military tribunal at Guantanamo.

Of the remaining 58, at least 23 are designated for prosecution. Six have been re-designated for transfer, but the other 29 either await a periodic review board or are ineligible for transfer.

The president is hoping to bring those prisoners to a super-maximum-security prison within the United States.

“It does not make sense for us to spend millions of dollars per individual, when we have a way of solving this problem that’s more consistent with our values,” Obama said on CNN.

Recidivism – Obama to release 1/3 from Gitmo

Editor’s Note – Despite the recidivism rate among Guantanamo detainees, and the fact that the Libyan attack at Benghazi involved Sufyan Ben Qumu, a former detainee, why is it important now to release one-third of the remaining detainees at Guantanamo?

In a summary report, the office of the Director of National Intelligence said that 27.9 percent of the 599 former detainees released from Guantanamo were either confirmed or suspected of later engaging in militant activity.

The figures represent a 2.9 percent rise over a 25 percent aggregate recidivism rate reported by the intelligence czar’s office in December 2010. (Read the rest here.)

Again, a simple why? Is this a final try at living up to one of his famous campaign promises to quell his base and energize them to get out the vote? While American flags are supplanted by the black al-Qaeda flag across the globe, and his own lame campaign flag appears that looks like it was made by a set of bloody fingers and had the stars replaced by his logo, along with the death of Ambassador Stevens and three others, why are we releasing known enemies now?

Here is an example of one of these detainees, click here.

Obama to release one-third of inmates at Gitmo

By Awr Hawkins – Breitbart

President Barack Obama is about to release or transfer 55 Gitmo prisoners, despite reports that the Libyan believed to be behind the killing of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens was a former Guantanamo inmate transferred to Libyan custody.

The large percentage of those scheduled to be released are Yemeni, according to a list made public by the Obama administration.

Obama stopped the release or transfer of Yemeni inmates in 2010, because the conditions in the country were viewed as too “unsettled” at the time.

A release or transfer of 55 inmates means Obama is moving out one third of the prisoners at Guantanamo. And while it doesn’t represent a shutdown of the facility, it’s certainly indicative of a move toward that end.

Could it be that Obama is trying to set himself up to campaign as the man who is taking steps to finally close Gitmo, just as he recently reversed the Afghanistan surge in order to campaign as the man who’s winding down the war in the Afghanistan?

The ACLU has praised the releases as “a partial victory for transparency.”

%CODE%

"Kill" List – Political Expediency vs. American Security

Editor’s Note – A test of ‘principles and will’, or a test of how to achieve political ends, without alienating your base, but to also look like a ‘hawk’? Rarely does any action this White House decides upon hinges on the former, but always hinges on the later.

The fact that ‘Gitmo’ is still open, yet no new prisoners end up there speaks volumes. He knows he cannot in good conscience close it, but he can prevent it from growing in population. The trouble is, this tactic does the country one major disservice, no new intelligence is being gathered through enhanced interrogations. As many have mentioned, we are now only able to  act upon information gleaned in the Bush Administration.

Reliance on old information is quickly reducing our ability to act strategically – therefore, we are acting only tactically now – drones, the weapon of choice that achieves all of the above, yet destroys information trails. The ‘trade craft’ so long relied upon, is now just a way of creating a list – a “kill list”!

If the party in power were reversed, the left would have long ago drummed the beat of impeachment for crimes against humanity, especially where American citizens were the target. To even try to argue otherwise would be the transparency we so thought we voted for…

Once again, politics trumps the security of America! Killing in theaters where war has not been declared…that is assassination! Especially since we are no longer in the “War on Terror”, and al Qaida is no longer a worry…

Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will

By  and   – NY Times

This was the enemy, served up in the latest chart from the intelligence agencies: 15 Qaeda suspects in Yemen with Western ties. The mug shots and brief biographies resembled a high school yearbook layout. Several were Americans. Two were teenagers, including a girl who looked even younger than her 17 years.

President Obama, overseeing the regular Tuesday counterterrorism meeting of two dozen security officials in the White House Situation Room, took a moment to study the faces. It was Jan. 19, 2010, the end of a first year in office punctuated by terrorist plots and culminating in a brush with catastrophe over Detroit on Christmas Day, a reminder that a successful attack could derail his presidency. Yet he faced adversaries without uniforms, often indistinguishable from the civilians around them.

President Obama in the Oval Office with Thomas E. Donilon, left, the national security adviser, and John O. Brennan, his top counterterrorism adviser.

“How old are these people?” he asked, according to two officials present. “If they are starting to use children,” he said of Al Qaeda, “we are moving into a whole different phase.”

It was not a theoretical question: Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret “nominations” process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical. He had vowed to align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values; the chart, introducing people whose deaths he might soon be asked to order, underscored just what a moral and legal conundrum this could be.

Mr. Obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, and then insisted on approving every new name on an expanding “kill list,” poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre “baseball cards” of an unconventional war. When a rare opportunity for a drone strike at a top terrorist arises — but his family is with him — it is the president who has reserved to himself the final moral calculation.

“He is determined that he will make these decisions about how far and wide these operations will go,” said Thomas E. Donilon, his national security adviser. “His view is that he’s responsible for the position of the United States in the world.” He added, “He’s determined to keep the tether pretty short.”

Nothing else in Mr. Obama’s first term has baffled liberal supporters and confounded conservative critics alike as his aggressive counterterrorism record. His actions have often remained inscrutable, obscured by awkward secrecy rules, polarized political commentary and the president’s own deep reserve.

In interviews with The New York Times, three dozen of his current and former advisers described Mr. Obama’s evolution since taking on the role, without precedent in presidential history, of personally overseeing the shadow war with Al Qaeda.

They describe a paradoxical leader who shunned the legislative deal-making required to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, but approves lethal action without hand-wringing. While he was adamant about narrowing the fight and improving relations with the Muslim world, he has followed the metastasizing enemy into new and dangerous lands. When he applies his lawyering skills to counterterrorism, it is usually to enable, not constrain, his ferocious campaign against Al Qaeda — even when it comes to killing an American cleric in Yemen, a decision that Mr. Obama told colleagues was “an easy one.”

His first term has seen private warnings from top officials about a “Whac-A-Mole” approach to counterterrorism; the invention of a new category of aerial attack following complaints of careless targeting; and presidential acquiescence in a formula for counting civilian deaths that some officials think is skewed to produce low numbers.

The administration’s failure to forge a clear detention policy has created the impression among some members of Congress of a take-no-prisoners policy. And Mr. Obama’s ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron P. Munter, has complained to colleagues that the C.I.A.’s strikes drive American policy there, saying “he didn’t realize his main job was to kill people,” a colleague said.

Beside the president at every step is his counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, who is variously compared by colleagues to a dogged police detective, tracking terrorists from his cavelike office in the White House basement, or a priest whose blessing has become indispensable to Mr. Obama, echoing the president’s attempt to apply the “just war” theories of Christian philosophers to a brutal modern conflict.

But the strikes that have eviscerated Al Qaeda — just since April, there have been 14 in Yemen, and 6 in Pakistan — have also tested both men’s commitment to the principles they have repeatedly said are necessary to defeat the enemy in the long term. Drones have replaced Guantánamo as the recruiting tool of choice for militants; in his 2010 guilty plea, Faisal Shahzad, who had tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square, justified targeting civilians by telling the judge, “When the drones hit, they don’t see children.”

Dennis C. Blair, director of national intelligence until he was fired in May 2010, said that discussions inside the White House of long-term strategy against Al Qaeda were sidelined by the intense focus on strikes. “The steady refrain in the White House was, ‘This is the only game in town’ — reminded me of body counts in Vietnam,” said Mr. Blair, a retired admiral who began his Navy service during that war.

Mr. Blair’s criticism, dismissed by White House officials as personal pique, nonetheless resonates inside the government.

William M. Daley, Mr. Obama’s chief of staff in 2011, said the president and his advisers understood that they could not keep adding new names to a kill list, from ever lower on the Qaeda totem pole. What remains unanswered is how much killing will be enough.

“One guy gets knocked off, and the guy’s driver, who’s No. 21, becomes 20?” Mr. Daley said, describing the internal discussion. “At what point are you just filling the bucket with numbers?”

‘Maintain My Options’

A phalanx of retired generals and admirals stood behind Mr. Obama on the second day of his presidency, providing martial cover as he signed several executive orders to make good on campaign pledges. Brutal interrogation techniques were banned, he declared. And the prison at Guantánamo Bay would be closed.

What the new president did not say was that the orders contained a few subtle loopholes. They reflected a still unfamiliar Barack Obama, a realist who, unlike some of his fervent supporters, was never carried away by his own rhetoric. Instead, he was already putting his lawyerly mind to carving out the maximum amount of maneuvering room to fight terrorism as he saw fit.

It was a pattern that would be seen repeatedly, from his response to Republican complaints that he wanted to read terrorists their rights, to his acceptance of the C.I.A.’s method for counting civilian casualties in drone strikes.

The day before the executive orders were issued, the C.I.A.’s top lawyer, John A. Rizzo, had called the White House in a panic. The order prohibited the agency from operating detention facilities, closing once and for all the secret overseas “black sites” where interrogators had brutalized terrorist suspects.

“The way this is written, you are going to take us out of the rendition business,” Mr. Rizzo told Gregory B. Craig, Mr. Obama’s White House counsel, referring to the much-criticized practice of grabbing a terrorist suspect abroad and delivering him to another country for interrogation or trial. The problem, Mr. Rizzo explained, was that the C.I.A. sometimes held such suspects for a day or two while awaiting a flight. The order appeared to outlaw that.

Mr. Craig assured him that the new president had no intention of ending rendition — only its abuse, which could lead to American complicity in torture abroad. So a new definition of “detention facility” was inserted, excluding places used to hold people “on a short-term, transitory basis.” Problem solved — and no messy public explanation damped Mr. Obama’s celebration.

“Pragmatism over ideology,” his campaign national security team had advised in a memo in March 2008. It was counsel that only reinforced the president’s instincts.

Even before he was sworn in, Mr. Obama’s advisers had warned him against taking a categorical position on what would be done with Guantánamo detainees. The deft insertion of some wiggle words in the president’s order showed that the advice was followed.

Some detainees would be transferred to prisons in other countries, or released, it said. Some would be prosecuted — if “feasible” — in criminal courts. Military commissions, which Mr. Obama had criticized, were not mentioned — and thus not ruled out.

As for those who could not be transferred or tried but were judged too dangerous for release? Their “disposition” would be handled by “lawful means, consistent with the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interests of justice.”

A few sharp-eyed observers inside and outside the government understood what the public did not. Without showing his hand, Mr. Obama had preserved three major policies — rendition, military commissions and indefinite detention — that have been targets of human rights groups since the 2001 terrorist attacks.

But a year later, with Congress trying to force him to try all terrorism suspects using revamped military commissions, he deployed his legal skills differently — to preserve trials in civilian courts.

It was shortly after Dec. 25, 2009, following a close call in which a Qaeda-trained operative named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had boarded a Detroit-bound airliner with a bomb sewn into his underwear.

Mr. Obama was taking a drubbing from Republicans over the government’s decision to read the suspect his rights, a prerequisite for bringing criminal charges against him in civilian court.

The president “seems to think that if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war,” former Vice President Dick Cheney charged.

Sensing vulnerability on both a practical and political level, the president summoned his attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., to the White House.

F.B.I. agents had questioned Mr. Abdulmutallab for 50 minutes and gained valuable intelligence before giving him the warning. They had relied on a 1984 case called New York v. Quarles, in which the Supreme Court ruled that statements made by a suspect in response to urgent public safety questions — the case involved the location of a gun — could be introduced into evidence even if the suspect had not been advised of the right to remain silent.

Mr. Obama, who Mr. Holder said misses the legal profession, got into a colloquy with the attorney general. How far, he asked, could Quarles be stretched? Mr. Holder felt that in terrorism cases, the court would allow indefinite questioning on a fairly broad range of subjects.

Satisfied with the edgy new interpretation, Mr. Obama gave his blessing, Mr. Holder recalled.

“Barack Obama believes in options: ‘Maintain my options,’ “ said Jeh C. Johnson, a campaign adviser and now general counsel of the Defense Department. Read more "Kill" List – Political Expediency vs. American Security

Tolerance to a circus degree – Gitmo

Editor’s Note – We at SUA could not have said it better than Debbie Schlussel who reported on the article below:

Yup, that’s Islam. The men can’t take it upon themselves to control their impulses. The women–even on American soil (and the U.S. Naval Base at Gitmo is, indeed, American soil)–must cover themselves completely up, lest someone’s hair or ear’s turn them on.  In Islam, there is no personal responsibility and discipline, contrary to popular belief.  Instead, it’s just women who “deserve to be raped” because they are “unwrapped meat,” as several prominent Muslim imams around the world have declared.  And Ms. Bormann’s display is just more pandering to that backwards world that is quickly, rapidly expanding on U.S. soil beyond Gitmo.

Again, as I always say, the West v. Islam ain’t a clash of civilizations. Because that assumes that the latter is, in fact, a civilization.

The evidence proves otherwise. As do the silly, chutzpahdik pronouncements of this jihadist’s dhimmi lawyer-ette.

The following article sums up the whole craziness here:

Attorney at KSM Trial’s Disrespectful Stunt

By Craig Andresen – The National Patriot

These people, and I use THAT term loosely, who plotted the 9-11 attacks, killed 3,000 people and wished they could have done more, can’t focus on their trial because some women in the court proceedings at GITMO are not covered up from head to toe in hijabs???

That is the case one of their defense attorneys is trying to make.

Cheryl Bormann, counsel for defendant Walid bin Attash went to last week’s circus of a court hearing in HER hijab and demanded the court ORDER all other women there to do the same so that her client would NOT have to avert his eyes, “for fear of committing a sin under their faith.” 

RUBBISH!!!

Adding to the circus atmosphere of this trial…Bowman, the head defense CLOWN held her OWN press conference this morning where she stated, “If because of someone’s religious beliefs, they can’t focus when somebody in the courtroom is dressed in a particular way, I feel it is incumbent upon myself as a counsel to point that out and ask for some consideration from the prosecution. Suffice to say it was distracting to members of the accused.”

First of all… “Religious beliefs???”

Bowman is not dealing with a religion, rather she is dealing with an ideology. To classify this brand of Islam as a “Religion” one would also have to classify “Nazi” as a “Religion.”

One has to wonder, if she were acting as the defense in Nuremburg…Would she have worn swastikas and a brown uniform to make Himmler feel more…comfortable? If she were to defend a member of the New BlacKKK Panthers, not that there will be a need for that…would she wear a paramilitary costume???

The “Religion” she seems so concerned with is one which treats women like garbage. It allows for them to be stoned to death for the crime of being raped. It allows for them to be “honor” killed for talking to a man. It allows for acid to be thrown in their faces.

This is also a “Religion” which encourages children to become homicide bombers and pays their families for the privilege.

This “Religion” thinks NOTHING of killing women, children, innocents of all kinds because they live and work in places like the United States and Israel.

Boremann has the unmitigated GALL to demand the court to instruct women who are there to…ABIDE by such a “Religion” and cover themselves out of respect for that “Religion???”

This is a “Religion” which, in Iran, has sentenced a man to death for converting to Christianity and spreading the teachings of Christianity and now are about to throw his defense attorney into prison for defending Pastor Yousef.

Perhaps Bormann should spend some time LIVING under this so called religion before she so staunchly tries to insist on respect for it. One wonders how long SHE would last as a woman in such a predicament.

Bormann is defending one of the masterminds of 9-11 and is demanding “tolerance” for his… “Religion.”

Did her client, or any of the rest of them show any tolerance for those onboard those planes? Were they in any way tolerant of those simply working in the twin towers? Did they give any tolerance to those in the Pentagon?

Of course not.

To believe Bormann, one would have to believe that her client cannot be distracted by heinous acts of violence and murder, not be distracted by all the things done in the name of his “Religion” to women and children but is SO distracted by a woman not wearing a hijab that he is unable to focus on his trial?

Give me a break.

We build these animals a soccer field at GITMO, feed them what they want to eat, provide them “Prayer” rugs so they can “Pray” multiple times each day for our destruction and give them copies of their manifesto, the Koran, to read.

It’s sickening.

In all of this, what amount of respect is being shown for their victims? For the families of their victims? For the soldiers who put their lives on the line to capture these mass murderers? To the soldiers who have come home in pieces or to those whose lives have been lost in combat?

None.

And yet this woman, Bormann, who is doing what needs doing by providing a defense for her client, makes a further mockery of those to whom no respect has been given, by wearing a hijab to court and demanding OF the court, to make all women present wear them too?

No. No way. No way in hell.

Yesterday’s court hearing was a circus, lasting more than 13 hours. It was interrupted by meal breaks and prayer sessions. The accused refused to listen to the judge, refused to listen to Arabic translations, refused to answer questions and…They passed around a copy of “Economist” magazine, flipped through the pages and read articles during the proceedings.

These 5 who masterminded 9-11, the flying of planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and one meant for our nation’s capitol, made paper airplanes and placed them atop the microphones where the family members of the victims could see them.

And there, throughout the 13-hour circus, was defense attorney, Cheryl Bormann, donned in her hijab and demanding that all women in the courtroom wear them too.

While most people concentrate on the 5 defendants and their abusive behavior I believe the real issue here is Bormann. Is Bormann, by wearing the hijab, trying to draw attention away from her client?

In a way, yes, but maybe not for the reason you might think.

Dressed as she is, can the focus be completely drawn away for the antics of her client and the others? No. Their behavior is SO obtuse that it is a train wreck and people WILL watch the train wreck.

Here is what I believe to be a more plausible reason for Bormann’s get-up.

There is little doubt that her client is guilty. By dressing in a hijab and demanding other women in the court do so as well, she is intentionally drawing attention to herself…making an issue of how SHE is tolerant…How SHE shows respect for the “Religion” of the defendants.

If, and I believe when, Bormann’s client and the rest ARE found guilty…an appeal based on an unfair bias against an attorney who OUTWARDLY looks like and demands “respect” for the very ideology which caused the crimes for which the 5 men are on trial…will be filed.

The judge should decline her…”request” and further instruct Bormann to dress appropriately, as an American, for this trial or be found in contempt for causing a distraction of her own making IN the court and trying to create an intentional bias.

The court will reconvene in June and this Judge needs to get a grip on the situation. Order Bormann to knock it off with the hijab and dress appropriately and one more disruption of ANY kind by the 5 on trial should result in their immediate removal from the courtroom for the duration OF the trial.

Holder – Obama 2012, promises to keep, Bush policies in force

SUA Staff – While America is focused on Republican candidates, debates, primaries, and caucuses, the Fast and Furious Scandal, much higher gas prices then ever before, and the conflicts in Syria, we are being distracted from what Eric Holder and his associates are really spending their time on.

Rather than producing documents pertaining to the Fast and Furious scandal, the Solyndra debacle, the sentencing of the Holyland trial convictions, or prosecuting the New Black Panther polling place thugs, he is an integral part of the Obama re-election team. The team leader in achieving Obama promises concerning the Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo) detention center.

As part of that campaign, it seems they are working quietly to empty Gitmo; a ploy that will shore up their base and create a great set of campaign ‘talking points’. This all despite the fact that the Obama administration has continued the Bush era wire-tap policies. A fact that will be easily hidden behind Gitmo moves.

Meanwhile, Obama is under fire for secret detentions of Somali terror suspects, a subject the left railed about during the Bush years that are still in force:

The militant Somali group al-Shabab is one of the organisations Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame is said to have joined. Photograph: AP

The Obama administration approved the secret detention of a Somali terror suspect on board a US navy ship, where for two months he was subjected to military interrogation in the absence of a lawyer and without charge.

The capture and treatment of Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame has rekindled the debate within the US about the appropriate handling of terror suspects. Republicans in Congress have objected to Warsame being brought to New York this week to be tried in a criminal court – an attempt by the Obama administration to avoid sending the prisoner to Guantánamo Bay, which it has promised to close.

Soon, probably close to voting day in November, we will find that Gitmo is empty. Holder is feverishly working on a deal to transfer five of the top leaders of the Taliban now, trying to send them to a new home in Qatar, where a new Taliban headquarters has been erected paid for by your tax dollars. Five of the worst of the worst.

We all remember the release of Uighur detainees who were sent to live the life on the wonderful islands of Palau.

Of these detainees slated for transfer, Majid Khan, has a very nasty history and has even nastier lawyers that come from the Center for Constitutional Rights. (Videos available here.) These friends and associates act as Eric Holder’s silent law partners from both his time at Covington & Burling and now at the Department of Justice. Majid has three lawyers, Gitanjali Gutierrez, Wells Dixon, and Shayana Kadidal. Another of these worst of the worst is Ammar al Baluchi.

But what about the true picture of what Gitmo really is, ask the Belgians:

Gitmo Better Than Belgian Prisons

Real Clear Politics

Well, well:

Inmates at Guantanamo Bay prison are treated better than in Belgian jails, an expert for Europe’s biggest security organization said on Monday after a visit to the controversial U.S. detention center. [snip]Grignard told a news conference that prisoners’ right to practice their religion, food, clothes and medical care were better than in Belgian prisons.

“I know no Belgian prison where each inmate receives its Muslim kit,” Grignard said.

This is certainly not the impression we get from any media accounts of Gitmo. On FridayTime Magazine made national headlines with the story that Mohammad al-Qahtani, the so-called “20th hijacker,” was recanting all of his previous testimony, claiming he made everything up because he was being tortured.

Lost amid the sensational headlines is that Qahtani’s reversal came after two recent visits with a newly appointed lawyer, Gitanjali S. Gutierrez, from the ultra-liberal Center For Constitutional Rights. Gutierrez is part of CCR’s “Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative” designed to “expand CCR’s defense of human rights and the rule of law to combat abuses of Executive power by the U.S. throughout the world.”

I sifted through the log of Qahtani’s interrogation that accompanied Time’s report and from what I read it seems as if he was treated perfectly within bounds. The full interrogation log (pdf) is here, so go read it and decide for yourself whether Qahtani was tortured or not.

Also last Friday the BBC ran a story headlined, “Guantanamo man tells of ‘torture’.” Here is an excerpt from the BBC’s interview with Fawzi al-Odah, a Kuwaiti citizen currently being held at Gitmo:

Through his lawyer, Mr Odah described his treatment during his hunger strike.”First they took my comfort items away from me. You know, my blanket, my towel, my long pants, then my shoes. I was put in isolation for 10 days.

“They came in and read out an order. It said if you refuse to eat, we will put you on the chair [for force feeding].”

Remember, these people are trying to starve themselves to death. Imagine the reaction of human rights organizations if the United States military stood by and allowed two dozen or more prisoners to die of starvation.

The idea that force feeding prisoners to keep them alive constitutes “torture” borders on the insane. These men are are being offered food and adequate care, but they are refusing. As a result the United States military is put in an impossible situation; force them to eat or let them die. The goal of critics, of course, is to make either of these choices such a public relations nightmare for the United States that the Pentagon is forced to go with the only other option: close Gitmo down altogether.

______________________

Also, watch this video about Obama’s continued use of Bush policies here:

More at The Real News