Obama told Congress today that it should close the U.S. Guantanamo Bay military detention center in Cuba– “to improve national security,” and that detainees should be brought to U.S. soil. Obama referenced 13 potential locations to transfer GITMO detainees to the U.S., but no specifics.
He failed to reference the fact that of those known, roughly 29 percent return to terrorism.
He said: “For many years it’s been clear that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay does not advance our national security. It undermines it. This is not just my opinion — this is the opinion of experts, this is the opinion of many in our military. It’s counterproductive to our fight against terrorists because they use it as propaganda in their efforts to recruit.”
Obama reported that $450 million was spent last year to operate Guantanamo Bay in addition to $200 million that was allocated for “additional costs needed to keep it open going forward for less than 100 detainees.” Closing Guantanamo and transferring detainees is estimated to cost between $290- $475 million. Housing them domestically would cost roughly $85 million less than in Cuba.
But, it’s not really about the money.
Obama argues keeping GITMO open “is contrary to our values. It undermines our standing in the world. It is viewed as a stain on our broader record of upholding the highest standards of rule of law.”
The cost to close Guantanamo Bay and transfer detainees transfer ranges from $290 million to $475 million. Housing remaining detainees domestically would be up to $85 million cheaper than in Cuba — offsetting the cost of the closure within years.
According to the Pentagon, most of the detainees would be transferred to other countries. Those “deemed too dangerous to transfer abroad” would be relocated to the U.S.
Is Obama oblivious to the fact that nearly 200 terrorists released from GITMO returned to committing terrorist attacks worldwide since their release?
Last year, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) released a report confirming that 116 detainees “transferred” out of Guantanamo Bay engaged in terrorist or insurgent activities upon their release.
DNI warned in 2015: “Based on trends identified during the past eleven years, we assess that some detainees currently at GTMO will seek to reengage in terrorist or insurgent activities after they are transferred.”
The DNI had warned in 2010 that those who had already been “transferred” out of Guantanamo would return to terror and insurgent activity and that any additional released detainees in the future would do the same.
Despite these warnings, DNI reported that between January, 2014 and January, 2015 the government released 33 more Guantanamo detainees.
More important– is whether or not any of the remaining detainees are released “with conditions.” This was not specified.
In 2014, DNI reported that without conditions more people were at risk.
It stated: “Based on trends identified during the past eleven years, we assess that if additional detainees are transferred without conditions from GTMO, some will reengage in terrorist or insurgent activities. Transfers to countries with ongoing conflicts and internal instability as well as active recruitment by insurgent and terrorist organizations pose a particular problem.”
So far, according to DNI, as of 2015, 647 detainees were “transferred” from Guantanamo. Of these, 116 (17.9 percent) were “confirmed” to have reengaged in terrorist or insurgent activities, and 69 (10.7 percent) were “suspected” to have reengaged.
That equates to a minimum of 185 (28.6 percent) known terrorists, out of the 647 released detainees, who are confirmed or suspected of reengaging in terrorism or insurgent activities.
If anyone believes what Obama is saying, they won’t mind have a GITMO detainee brought to live with them, or next door to them. Anyone, including those in the White House, suggesting that releasing terrorists “advances” America’s, and the world’s “security,” evidences nothing short of insanity.