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Tick Tock On Gitmo

- February 22, 2016

Time Is Running Out For The White House To Present The Dangerous Clinton-Obama Plan To Bring Terrorists Onto U.S. Soil


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Tomorrow is the deadline for Obama to submit his plan to Congress for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo) prison camp.
  • Obama plans to send the most dangerous Gitmo terrorists to the United States, but local residents, military leaders, and Obama's own attorney general have voiced concerns.
  • Obama's Director of National Intelligence says nearly 200 former detainees are either confirmed or suspected of returning to the battlefield.
  • Clinton is now trying to put daylight between her campaign and her record as the architect of Obama's plan to bring terrorists to the U.S.

The Obama Administration Is Facing Tomorrow's Deadline To Send Its Guantanamo Bay Prison Closure Plan To Congress. "The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is pressing President Obama to share his plan for closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility ahead of a February deadline. The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requires the administration to send Congress a 'comprehensive strategy' by Feb. 23 on how to detain current and future prisoners." (Rebecca Kheel, "GOP Chairman Warns Obama Of Deadline For Gitmo Plan," The Hill, 2/4/16)

AS THE ADMINISTRATION PLANS TO SEND GITMO DETAINEES TO THE UNITED STATES, COMMUNITY RESIDENTS, THE MILITARY, AND EVEN OBAMA'S OWN ATTORNEY GENERAL HAVE SOUNDED THE ALARM

Obama Has Been Considering A Defense Department Plan That Would Propose Bringing Gitmo Detainees To The United States. "'Not everyone in GTMO can be safely transferred to another country, so we need an alternative,' [Secretary of Defense Ash] Carter said Thursday in Miami. 'I have therefore framed for the president a proposal to establish an alternative location. That plan will propose bringing those detainees to an appropriate, secure location in the United States.'" (Molly O'Toole, "Pentagon Sends Obama Plan To Close Guantanamo, Move Detainees To US," Defense One, 1/14/16)

"Defense Officials Have Been Surveying Sites In South Carolina, Kansas And Colorado As Potential Locations To House Guantanamo Detainees…" "Defense officials have been surveying sites in South Carolina, Kansas and Colorado as potential locations to house Guantanamo detainees who the U.S. government has determined cannot be transferred to their home countries." (Jim Acosta and Kevin Liptak, "WH: Executive Action Possible On Closing Gitmo," CNN , 11/4/15)

  • "These Detainees Are Considered Too Dangerous To Release At All. They're Known As 'Unreleasables.'" "Labeled as 'enemy combatants,' they've been held for more than a decade without trial in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, at a camp President Obama has promised to close. Unlike the 52 other captives at Guantanamo whose release can occur as soon as a country is found to take them, these detainees are considered too dangerous to release at all. They're known as 'unreleasables.'" (David Welna, "Kansas, South Carolina Take NIMBY Stance On Guantanamo Prisoners," NPR, 8/26/15)

Community Residents Are Firmly Opposed And Afraid Of The Clinton-Obama Plan To House The Most Dangerous Gitmo Terrorists In Their Neighborhoods

South Carolina Residents And Lawmakers Have Long Been Opposed To The Idea Of Gitmo Detainees Coming To Charleston. "The possibility of the brig being used for detainees has surfaced several times in recent years, with residents and lawmakers opposing the idea." (Schuyler Kropf, "Charleston Navy Brig To Be Reviewed As Possible Terrorist Holding Site," The [Charleston] Post And Courier , 8/14/15)

Kansas Residents, "Sometimes Shaking With Passion," Expressed Their Fears And Opposition To Gitmo Detainees Being Housed In Their Community. "With earnest voices, sometimes shaking with passion, residents at a town hall meeting Thursday took direct aim at the prospect of Guantánamo Bay detainees being transferred to Fort Leavenworth. One by one, a host of speakers came to the microphone at Riverfront Community Center, many to express fears that the fort, town and region would serve as a new target for terrorist attacks if the detainees were housed here." (Edward M. Eveld, "Residents Say 'No' To Possibility Of Transferring Guantánamo Detainees To Fort Leavenworth," The Kansas City Star, 9/3/15)

Colorado Residents "Draw The Line" With Gitmo Prisoners Coming To Their Community Out Of Fear That It Would Make The Area A Target For Terrorists. "Prisons have long been a way of life in this southern Colorado community, where schoolchildren practice inmate-escape drills and almost everyone counts a relative who works in corrections. People are accustomed to some of the nation's most dangerous criminals living nearby in the 13 state and federal prisons emerging from Fremont County's rolling desert peaks. But the possibility of housing suspected and convicted terrorists from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is where some residents draw the line. …Though prisoners living just miles away from Canon City include a Sept. 11 conspirator and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, residents worry about international attention possibly making the area a target for terrorists and their sympathizers." (Sadie Gurman, "Possible Guantanamo Transfer Raises Worries, Hopes In Colorado Town Used To Dangerous Inmates," The Associated Press, 10/15/15)

Military Leaders Tell Obama They "Will Not Transfer" Detainees Under Current Law

As Obama Prepares To Send His Gitmo Closure Plan To Congress, Military Leaders Say That Under The Current Law, They "Will Not Transfer Any Detainees To The U.S." "Just as President Barack Obama is planning to send Congress his plan to close the Guantanamo Bay prison this year, leaders of the military say it will not transfer any detainees to the U.S., unless the law prohibiting such transfers is changed." (Eli Lake, Op-Ed, "Military Tells Congress It Can't Send Gitmo Detainees To U.S.,"Bloomberg View , 2/16/16)

  • Bloomberg View Headline: "Military Tells Congress It Can't Send Gitmo Detainees To U.S." (Eli Lake, Op-Ed, "Military Tells Congress It Can't Send Gitmo Detainees To U.S.,"Bloomberg View , 2/16/16)

Last Week, Director Of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff Lt. General William Mayville Jr. Sent A Letter To Congress, Saying That "Current Law Prohibits The Use Of Funds To 'Transfer, Release Or Assist In The Transfer Or Release' Of Detainees Of Guantanamo Bay To Or Within The United States." "Lt. General William Mayville Jr., the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said as much in a letter to Congress last week, which I obtained. Mayville's letter gets to the heart of a knotty constitutional issue on Guantanamo: Does President Obama have the authority to close the facility without the consent of Congress? Writing to 16 House members who served in the military, Mayville writes: 'Current law prohibits the use of funds to 'transfer, release or assist in the transfer or release' of detainees of Guantanamo Bay to or within the United States, and prohibits the construction, modification or acquisition of any facility within the United States to house any Guantanamo detainee. The Joint Staff will not take any action contrary to those restrictions.'" (Eli Lake, Op-Ed, "Military Tells Congress It Can't Send Gitmo Detainees To U.S.,"Bloomberg View , 2/16/16)

  • Mayville: "The Joint Staff Will Not Take Any Action Contrary To Those Restrictions." (Eli Lake, Op-Ed, "Military Tells Congress It Can't Send Gitmo Detainees To U.S.,"Bloomberg View , 2/16/16)

Obama's Attorney General Also Says The Plan To Move Gitmo Prisoners To The U.S. Is Illegal

According To Attorney General Loretta Lynch, "The Obama Administration Is Legally Prohibited From Bringing Detainees From The Detention Facility At Guantanamo." "The Obama administration is legally prohibited from bringing detainees from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the U.S., Attorney General Loretta Lynch acknowledged on Tuesday, even as the White House searches for ways to close the facility. 'With respect to individuals being transferred to the United States, the law currently does not allow that,' Lynch told the House Judiciary Committee. 'That is not, as I am aware of, going to be contemplated, given the legal prescriptions.'" (Julian Hattem, "Attorney General: Law 'Does Not Allow' Gitmo Detainees In The US," The Hill, 11/17/15)

  • Lynch: "With Respect To Individuals Being Transferred To The United States, The Law Currently Does Not Allow That." "The Obama administration is legally prohibited from bringing detainees from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the U.S., Attorney General Loretta Lynch acknowledged on Tuesday, even as the White House searches for ways to close the facility. 'With respect to individuals being transferred to the United States, the law currently does not allow that,' Lynch told the House Judiciary Committee. 'That is not, as I am aware of, going to be contemplated, given the legal prescriptions.'" (Julian Hattem, "Attorney General: Law 'Does Not Allow' Gitmo Detainees In The US," The Hill, 11/17/15)

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL, CLINTON IS TRYING TO RUN AWAY FROM HER RECORD AS THE BACKER OF OBAMA'S PLAN TO HOUSE GITMO TERRORISTS IN THE U.S.

At A South Carolina Town Hall Earlier This Month, Clinton Dodged On The Plan She Once Recommended That Would Bring Guantanamo Terrorists To The United States. QUESTION: "As far as the detainees coming into South Carolina?" CLINTON: "Oh, from Guantanamo? The President has to decide what he thinks should be done. He hasn't yet, so I don't have a response. I want to see what he's going to recommend. And I don't know what he's going to recommend, so I don't want to, I don't want to prejudge what he's going to say." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At Campaign Town Hall, Denmark, SC, 2/12/16)

Click To Watch

But As Secretary, Clinton Advocated For The Closure Of Gitmo And Bringing The Detainees To The United States

In An August 2010 White House Meeting, Clinton Chastised White House Aides, Saying "We Are Throwing The President's Commitment To Close Guantánamo Into The Trash Bin. … We Are Doing Him A Disservice By Not Working Harder On This." "One of those occasions was at a White House meeting of Obama's national-security principals in August 2010. 'We are throwing the president's commitment to close Guantánamo into the trash bin,' she chastised White House aides, according to three participants in the meeting. 'We are doing him a disservice by not working harder on this.'" (Daniel Klaidman, "How Gitmo Imprisoned Obama," Newsweek, 5/15/13)

In A January 2013 Memo To Obama, Clinton Said "She Worried That Support For Closing Guantanamo Would Further Erode Unless The Administration Took Action." "Weeks before she stepped down as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton wrote a memo urging President Barack Obama to step up his administration's efforts to close the military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay in his second term. In the confidential January 2013 memo obtained by The Huffington Post, Clinton told Obama she worried that support for closing Guantanamo would further erode unless the administration took action." (Ryan J. Reilly, "We Obtained Hillary Clinton's Confidential Memo To Obama. Read It Here.," The Huffington Post , 11/29/15)

  • Clinton Told Obama She Remained "A Strong Advocate" Of His Policy To Close Guantanamo Bay Prison . "I remain a strong advocate of your policy to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility (GTMO) responsibility and to ensure U.S. detention policy and practice for terrorism suspects are consist with U.S. values and do not strengthen our enemies." (Hillary Clinton, Memo To Barack Obama, 1/15/13, p. 1, Accessed 11/30/15)

In The Memo, Clinton "Advocated For Moving Guantanamo Detainees From The Cuban Prison Into The United States So They Could Face Trial." "She also advocated for moving Guantanamo detainees from the Cuban prison into the United States so they could face trial." (Rebecca Kaplan, "Hillary Clinton Urged Obama To Close Guantanamo Bay," CBS News, 11/30/15)

  • Clinton: "If The Law Permits, I Recommend That You Consider Transfers To The United States For Pre-Trial Detention, Trial, And Sentences." "I recommend that, in a coordinated legislative strategy, you direct efforts to prevent Congress from reenacting the current restriction in FY 2014. … (If the law permits, I recommend that you consider transfers to the United States for pre-trial detention, trial, and sentences.)." (Hillary Clinton, Memo To Barack Obama, 1/15/13, p. 2, Accessed 11/30/15)

IT'S NO WONDER EVERYONE IS LEERY-THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE SAYS NEARLY 200 FORMER DETAINEES ARE CONFIRMED OR SUSPECTED OF RETUNING TO THE FIGHT

The Weekly Standard Headline: "Obama Releases Dangerous Jihadists-Then Misleads Country About It" (Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn, "Obama Releases Dangerous Jihadists-Then Misleads Country About It," The Weekly Standard, 12/14/15)

According To A Report By Obama's Director Of National Intelligence, "196 Former Detainees Are Either Confirmed (117) Or Suspected (79) Of Returning To The Fight." "A handful? Obama is woefully ill-informed or he's being dishonest. According to the most recent report on Guantanamo recidivism, prepared in September 2015 by James Clapper's office, Obama's own Director of National Intelligence, 196 former detainees are either confirmed (117) or suspected (79) of returning to the fight. That's a recidivism rate of more than 30 percent. Intelligence officials tell THE WEEKLY STANDARD that those numbers are almost certainly low, as they do not include jihadists the United States and its allies are no longer tracking." (Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn, "Obama Releases Dangerous Jihadists-Then Misleads Country About It," The Weekly Standard, 12/14/15)

  • "That's A Recidivism Rate Of More Than 30 Percent." (Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn, "Obama Releases Dangerous Jihadists-Then Misleads Country About It," The Weekly Standard , 12/14/15)

Released Guantanamo Prisoners "Return To The Fight With Elevated Status And Often Assume Leadership Roles In The Groups Determined To Attack The U.S. And Its Interests." "Obama continued, describing the process officials use to determine whether a detainee can be released or transferred. 'The judgment that we're continually making is: Are there individuals who are significantly more dangerous than the people who are already out there who are fighting? What do they add? Do they have special skills? Do they have special knowledge that ends up making significant threat to the United States?' It's an odd set of criteria for evaluating threats unless your main objective is emptying the detention facility. These are standards set up to allow the administration to claim that the knowledge base and skill sets of Guantanamo detainees are outdated. But former Guantanamo detainees return to the fight with elevated status and often assume leadership roles in the groups determined to attack the U.S. and its interests. Just like Ibrahim al Qosi." (Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn, "Obama Releases Dangerous Jihadists-Then Misleads Country About It," The Weekly Standard, 12/14/15)


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