Wednesday, December 3, 2014

GITMO: Obama still determined to fast track the closure

Remember this?

President Barack Obama began overhauling U.S. treatment of terror suspects Thursday, signing orders to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center, review military trials of suspects and ban the harshest interrogation methods. (Jan. 22)

That was his FIRST Executive Order.

Despite his election promise, the MIC has been thwarted in his stated goals by an uncooperative Congress over the years.  Never one to take "NO" for an answer, the MIC has continued to release GITMO residents a few at a time, one of the most egregious being the recent swap for Bergdahl.

Remember these guys?

Terrorist Exchanged For Bowe Bergdahl Now Top ISIS Commander 
16 September 2014

Mullah Mohammed Fazi, one of the five Guantanamo Bay detainees released by the Obama administration in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, has been confirmed to be currently in Iraq. Fazi, the Taliban’s former Defense Minister, is serving in a leadership capacity within the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

Reports indicate that Fazi, classified by a 2008 Pentagon dossier as being considered a high risk to the United States if released, appears to be heavily engaged in the systematic murder of Iraqs non-Sunni population. 

To those of us paying attention, this is not news.   About the same time as this release was happening, Vice News published this:

At its peak, Guantanamo held 779 prisoners. Under President George W. Bush's tenure, 532 detainees were released from the detention facility. Of those, 101 — or 19 percent — were confirmed to have re-engaged. (ODNI reports that 23 of the 101 are dead and 25 are back in custody.) Another 76, or 14.3 percent, were suspected of re-engagement.

report last March in the Christian Science Monitor noted that the recidivism rate at Guantanamo is far lower than the US prison recidivism rate, which is more than 60 percent. But the ODNI statistics can be manipulated — and have been repeatedly in attacks by partisan lawmakers. [emphasis mine]

"The recidivism rate is nearly 29 percent and has been climbing steadily since detainees began being released from Guantanamo," Senator Saxby Chambliss said last November during a congressional debate about whether to loosen restrictions to make it easier for Obama to release cleared detainees. "This includes nearly 10 percent of detainees who have returned to the fight after being transferred by the current administration following the administration's extensive review of each detainee."
Raha Wala, the senior counsel with Human Rights First's Law & Security Program, said that while progress on closing Guantanamo has been "disappointingly slow, there has been real progress nonetheless, and the Obama administration can, with enough focus and commitment, close Guantanamo by the end of the President's second term."

THAT is the goal, as Obama stated so often during - and since - his first run for the Presidency.

Now comes this from Fox News:
Pentagon prepares for more detainee releases from Guantanamo Bay
November 29, 2014

The Pentagon is preparing to transfer more detainees from Guantanamo Bay in coming weeks despite continued Republican opposition, according to defense and congressional officials.

The Wall Street Journal reports that, after five detainees were transferred last week, there will be another round in December, but defense officials refused to disclose further information on their numbers or nationalities.

Rep. Howard McKeon, R-Calif, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, complained at a recent hearing of an increase in notifications by the administration to lawmakers on coming transfers from the detainment facility.

President Obama promised since before he took office that he would close the controversial detention center, a move that has been opposed by many Republicans.

The transfers come shortly after the announcement of the resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who was criticized by administration officials who spoke to The Wall Street Journal for moving too slowly to certify detainees for release....

Read the rest here, where it is clear as day that these movements are all about politics, all the time, NOT the security of America.
Are YOU paying attention?

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