While you were sleeping things were happening that may just surprise you. As reported by Jane Sutton and Eric M. Johnson of Reuters, the US released two detainees from GITMO back to Sudan, Noor Uthman and Ibrahim IdrisAccording to Reuters:
President Obama had promised to shutter Guantanamo during his 2008 presidential campaign, saying it had damaged the reputation of the United States abroad. But Obama has been unable to do so since taking office, in part because of resistance from Congress.
However, shouldn’t there be a little question about releasing GITMO detainees to countries listed as terrorist states, or those supporting terrorism? Certainly Sudan is on that list. And as we know, Sudan was once a base of operations for Osama Bin Laden.
The Reuters report said:
Noor had already been held at Guantanamo for nearly nine years when he pleaded guilty in February 2011 to conspiring with al Qaeda and providing material support for militants. He admitted he was a weapons trainer at the Khaldan paramilitary camp in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2000. In exchange for a guilty plea and cooperation with prosecutors, he was given a 34-month sentence that ended on Dec. 3.
Idris had not been charged with a crime, and was ordered freed by a U.S. district judge — one of the work-arounds to release GITMO detainees, in early October after his lawyers argued he was too ill to pose a threat – he’s an obese diabetic, and was also diagnosed with schizophrenia after he arrived at GITMO.
However, according to Reuters:
A 2008 U.S. military assessment found Idris was one of Osama bin Laden’s international couriers in the 1990s and later became a top doctor at al Qaeda’s al Farouq training camp in Afghanistan. These transfers follow the repatriation of two prisoners to Saudi Arabia and two more to Algeria earlier this month. Amnesty International’s Zeke Johnson praised the release but said the progress was not fast enough.
I’d just like to ask if the Obama administration and Amnesty International are concerned about the release of Army SGT Bowe Bergdahl? How about the Americans held in Iran — Pastor Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati, and Robert Levinson? Or do they share even a tiny bit of concern for Pakistani Dr. Afridi who fingered Osama Bin Laden? The answer seems obvious.