Fellow for Strategic CommunicationsMeet our expert
While 40 world leaders marched in Paris to show solidarity against terrorist attacks, Obama not only skipped the event, he remains determined to free as many Al Qaeda, Taliban and affiliated jihadists from Guantanamo as possible. Just this week he released five Yemenis, four to Oman and one to Estonia, despite their front-line service against U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan. At least one is suspected of serving as a bodyguard to Usama bin Laden. Like everyone else, Mr. Obama is aware that the Paris massacres aren’t the first mass casualty attacks carried out by extremists determined to kill Christians, Jews and any Muslims who stand in their way of power.
Ex-Gitmo men have become leaders of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Ansar Al-Sharia in Libya. One became a suicide bomber in Iraq. They’ve killed Americans and our allies in each place, most notably in Benghazi. Between 20 and 30 have reportedly joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Madrid, London, Istanbul, Mumbai, Nairobi and Bali — let alone Washington, D.C., and New York on 9/11 — have been rocked for over more than a decade by large-scale terror attacks carried out by those shouting “Allah Akhbar,” Arabic for “God is Great.” Canada, Australia, Belgium, The Netherlands and Bulgaria have suffered through smaller attacks. And in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen and Somalia, deadly terrorist attacks on civilian and military targets happen practically every week. Mr. Obama also knows that nearly one in three former Gitmo detainees are confirmed or suspected of returning to terrorism. Ex-Gitmo men have become leaders of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Ansar Al-Sharia in Libya. One became a suicide bomber in Iraq. They’ve killed Americans and our allies in each place, most notably in Benghazi. Between 20 and 30 have reportedly joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Yet Mr. Obama continues to free them. Mr. Obama believes the fight against Al Qaeda and affiliates is law enforcement action, not a war. Incredibly, he can’t even bring himself to say that we’re defending ourselves against “radical Islam.” He doesn’t believe enemy combatants should be held without a trial, and he has pushed to extend full constitutional protections for foreign terror suspects on American soil, even those trying to kill countless Americans. To his left-leaning political base, Guantanamo represents the Bush administration’s so-called “overreach.” America’s enemies, both foreign and domestic, typically portray detainees as the victims — practically modern versions of Che Guevara, simply fighting the power. As Mr. Obama continues to release detainees in an effort to go around Congress and shutter Gitmo by emptying it, Americans ought to know more about who left in 2014. Five were top Taliban leaders exchanged for a reputed Army deserter; four have suicide operations training; two explicitly said they’ll return to terrorism. Ten were at Tora Bora, Bin Laden’s last stand in Afghanistan. One was arrested for possession of Stinger missiles and uranium “which detainee’s recovered documents indicate was intended for use in a nuclear device,” according to his file. Considering how dangerous these men are, why would any American official release them? They say Guantanamo hurts America’s reputation. Well, if/when another country loses 3,000 people in one single terrorist attack, we’ll see how they react. They say we must live by our values and the rule of law. Yet during wartime, America has always kept enemy combatants locked up. And isn’t protecting the public an important value? They say Guantanamo is too expensive per detainee, citing wildly inflated costs as those troops guarding them would just be deployed elsewhere. Even so, how expensive was 9/11? What is the price tag on the lives of Americans killed? With the State Department just issuing a $5 million bounty on an ex-Gitmo Saudi who is now a top Al Qaeda leader, we know exactly how costly that is. And finally, they say the detainees should be brought to the U.S. mainland, and that no one has ever escaped Supermax. Well, they don’t have to escape if left-wing activist judges let them out. Which is Mr. Obama’s little secret on Gitmo. Americans should be outraged at how Mr. Obama is placing his far-left ideology and an ill-advised campaign promise over our lives. Congress should act to stop this madness before more Americans are killed.