With just 371 days to go (yes, I’m counting), President Obama is on a rampage to fulfill his ideological agenda and campaign promises before he leaves office. He’s made it clear that closing the Guantánamo Bay prison is one of these — consequences to Americans, be damned.
And today, we learned that he’s taken one huge step closer to make good on this, as the Pentagon announced the largest single release of detainees yet — and more on the way.
As the New York Times reports:
The Pentagon on Thursday announced that it had transferred 10 lower-level Yemeni detainees from the Guantánamo Bayprison to Oman. The departure of the unusually large group of prisoners — each of whom spent about 14 years in custody — reduced the prison population to 93, the first time it has been in double digits since the Bush administration began bringing Afghanistan war prisoners to the naval base in January 2002.
The transfer, which took place on Wednesday, was the largest single resettlement of detainees in the yearslong effort to close the prison in Cuba. The 34 prisoners who are still on a list recommended for transfer if security conditions can be met in the receiving country may be moved by mid-2016, said Lee Wolosky, a State Department official who negotiates transfers.
“Sustained diplomatic engagement led us to this important milestone,” Mr. Wolosky said. “We are very grateful to our friends and partners in the gulf and elsewhere who have resettled Yemeni detainees, and we expect to be in a position to empty Guantánamo of all detainees who are currently approved for transfer by this summer.”
But I guess we should take some comfort in knowing that, surely, our government is only releasing these prisoners who don’t pose any sort of security threat to Americans, right? Like the Muhammad Abd Al Rahman Awn Al-Shamrani, whom we reported earlier this week vowed to “kill Americans” before the Obama administration released him. That’s comforting, right?
And I’m sure all of the released prisoners will, once free, go out and get jobs and live quiet lives that have nothing to do with what landed them in GITMO in the first place, right? Like former GITMO prisoner Ibrahim Qosi, released in July 2012, who’s now resurfaced as one of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula’s leaders. This former GITMO prisoner is now making himself useful by preaching “individual jihad,” encouraging attacks by individuals and smaller terror cells. Remind you of anything, like perhaps the San Bernardino attacks?
Yet the president continues to argue that closing down GITMO — releasing these terrorists back into the world, free to continue on their mission — makes us more secure.
Campaign promises, ideological agenda over the safety of Americans. Truly despicable.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]