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Claude Cartaginese

Closing Guantanamo: A Deadly Idea

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Posted on June 22 2009 7:22 am
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We don’t know if Guantanamo prisoner number 372, Said Ali Al-Shihri, was waterboarded or not while he was in detention (perhaps the torture-obsessed TV commentators Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow can enlighten us on the issue), but this we do know: After his release from Guantanamo, Al-Shihri not only went right back to al-Qaeda, but he is now second in command of the Yemeni branch of that terror organization. And because of his release, last week nine innocent foreigners in Yemen, including three children under the age of six, were tortured, shot and mutilated in the most barbaric way (as is the custom of those who perpetuate these acts in the name of Islam).

The nine foreigners — four German adults, three small German children, a British man and a South Korean woman – were picnicking outside the city of Saadaa when they were abducted and butchered by Al-Shihri’s thugs. Lest anyone think that this was Al-Shihri’s only act of violence since his release, be advised that he is also believed to have been behind the September attacks that left 16 dead at the U.S. Embassy in the Yemeni capital of San’a. For those keeping count, that’s 25 people dead (that we know of) since Al-Shihri gained his freedom.

So far, at least 61 freed detainees have returned to jihadist terrorism. Well then, you may ask, what if the detainees underwent professional counseling while in detention, and again after their release? What if a real effort was made to rehabilitate them? Isn’t it possible that they would then re-integrate peacefully back into society?

In a word, no. Al-Shihri, for example, was a model prisoner and by all accounts was deemed safe to release. He was handed over to the custody of the Saudis, who put him through their own counseling program for the “rehabilitation” of former terrorists. He completed the program, got his diploma, and then resumed the overriding mission of his life: to murder “infidels.”

How many innocents must die at the hands of terrorism recidivists before President Obama realizes that his obsession with closing Guantanamo by 2010 is a horrible idea? As Rep. Peter King (R-NY), the Ranking Member on the House Homeland Security Committee, puts it, how long before the remaining, soon-to-be-released detainees are “back in the battlefield hurting Americans“?

Judging by what has happened already, it won’t be long at all.

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