"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Times Online Reports Guantánamo Inmates Rejoined al-Qaeda in Yemen

Keeping in mind terrorism czar John Brennan's promise that some Gitmo will go to Yemen, this article by Tom Coghlan in The Times is particularly bothersome.

From the article:

"At least a dozen former Guantánamo Bay inmates have rejoined al-Qaeda to fight in Yemen, The Times has learnt, amid growing concern over the ability of the country’s Government to accept almost 100 more former inmates from the detention centre.

"The Obama Administration promised to close the Guantánamo facility by January 22, a deadline that it will be unable to meet. The 91 Yemeni prisoners in Guantánamo make up the largest national contingent among the 198 being held.

"Six prisoners were returned to Yemen last month. After the Christmas Day bomb plot in Detroit, US officials are increasingly concerned that the country is becoming a hot-bed of terrorism. Eleven of the former inmates known to have rejoined al-Qaeda in Yemen were born in Saudi Arabia. The organisation merged its Saudi and Yemeni offshoots last year.
The country’s mountainous terrain, poverty and lawless tribal society make it, in the opinion of many analysts, a close match for Afghanistan as a new terrorist haven."

[...]

"A Yemeni, Hani Abdo Shaalan, who was released from Guantánamo in 2007, was killed in an airstrike on December 17, the Yemeni Government reported last week. The deputy head of al-Qaeda in the country is Said Ali al-Shihri, 36, who was released in 2007. Ibrahim Suleiman al-Rubaish, who was released in 2006, is a prominent ideologue featured on Yemeni al-Qaeda websites."

[...]

"The US Government issued figures in May showing that 74 of the 530 detainees in Guantánamo were suspected or known to have returned to terrorist activity since their release. They included the commander of the Taleban in Helmand province, Mullah Zakir, whom the British Chief of the Defence Staff, Sir Jock Stirrup, called 'a key and seemingly effective tactical leader'. Among others who returned to terrorism was Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi, a Kuwaiti who killed six Iraqis in Mosul in 2008.

"The number believed to have 'returned to the fight' in the May 2009 estimate was double that of a US estimate from June 2008. US officials acknowledged that more detainees were known to have reoffended since, but the number has been classified [emphasis mine]."

[...]

"Officials said that a higher proportion of those still being held were likely to return to terrorism because they were considered more of a security threat than those selected in the early stages of the release programme."

Great. Well, heck Obama promised to close Gitmo-- and a campaign promise is a campaign promise. Right? Like that transparency and no lobbyists in his administration thing... Does anybody even remember that line?

The question begs to be asked, in light of Obama's "just words" attitude regarding campaign promises, why is this administration intent on further endangering ourselves and our allies by keeping this particular promise?

I wonder if it might not be related to the reason that Congress is passed and rushing to clandestinely reconcile the two extraordinarily unpopular health care "reform" bills. Are both the current Congress and the Obama administration so intent on pandering to the far Left's sensibilities that they will ignore, not only logic but, any costs resulting from their actions? I wonder.

UPDATE: Check out this post from Bread upon the Waters. It seems that the "U.S. has also released the leader [Qais Qazali] of an Iranian-backed Shia terror group behind the kidnapping and murder of five US soldiers in Karbala in January 2007."

Meanwhile milblogger and war correspondent Michael Yon was handcuffed for refusing to say how much money he made and Joan Rivers was bumped from a flight for having two names on her passport (h/t Michelle Malkin), which is apparently suspicious.

I'm just not quite sure that our priorities are in the correct place right now.

UPDATE 2: Michael Yon gives a brief interview regarding his experience here at BigGovernment.com.

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