Over the weekend, the Obama administration released six more terrorists from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, sending them to live in the country of Oman as part of the president’s misguided plan to close the holding center:
The six include Emad Abdullah Hassan, who …. [is suspected] of being one of many bodyguards to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and of being part of a group planning to attack NATO and American troops after the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.
The five other detainees sent to Oman were identified by the Pentagon as:
—Idris Ahmad 'Abd Al Qadir Idris and Jalal Salam Awad Awad, also both alleged bodyguards to bin Laden.
—Sharaf Ahmad Muhammad Mas'ud, whom the U.S. said fought American soldiers at Tora Bora, Afghanistan, before his capture in Pakistan.
—Saa'd Nasser Moqbil Al Azani, a religious teacher whom the U.S. believes had ties to bin Laden's religious adviser; and
—Muhammad Ali Salem Al Zarnuki, who allegedly arrived in Afghanistan as early as 1998 to fight and support the Taliban.
That’s four – count them, four – terrorists with ties to Osama bin Laden.
According to “a senior defense official,” Defense One reported June 3, “[t]he Obama administration intends to transfer up to 10 detainees from the Guantanamo detention center to other countries this month[.]” Which means, with these six set free, look for another four to be turned lose in the next two weeks.
This is a reckless policy that is not supported by the American people, especially given former Gitmo prisoners’ propensity for returning to the battlefield against Americans and U.S.-backed forces. Some have even joined the Islamic State (ISIL).
“We are working feverishly to transfer each of the 51 detainees [at Gitmo] currently approved for transfer,” said one administration official. “We are taking all possible steps to reduce the detainee population at Guantanamo and to close the detention facility,” said another. The president himself is reportedly obsessed with closing the prison, “raising it weekly,” according to his staff.
Here’s a thought: If only President Obama was half as concerned by the health care appointment wait times and poor service our veterans are forced to endure at the hands of his VA. If only his administration was “working feverishly” and “taking all possible steps” to get them the care they earned and deserve.
But no. As Speaker Boehner said Thursday, “Another week has gone by without a long-term plan from the president to fix the problems at the Veterans Administration.” Only one VA employee has been fired, a fact that led the Speaker to blast the VA’s culture of arrogance “that allows our veterans to be lied to, ignored, and, frankly, left to die.”
Osama bin Laden’s support group? Put those guys on a wait list. The military men and women who have served our country – that’s who the Obama administration should be “working feverishly” to help.