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Guantanamo: No More Going to Rehab, Baby

Posted on March 31 2010 2:00 pm
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This past week, it is being reported that Guantanamo detainees being released are returning to terrorist activity in far greater numbers than had been expected.

In our attempt to take the high road, please other nations, and keep the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) happy we continue to set ourselves up for new attacks from the same old recycled terrorists.

Analysts hoped that jihadis going through “rehabilitation” in Saudi Arabia would make a difference. Well, it appears this plan was as effective as rehab has been for Amy Winehouse.


Addicott says part of the problem is the push to rehabilitate enemy combatants who can’t be rehabilitated.

For example, a “rehabilitation” center in Saudi Arabia that has become home to many released detainees claims it can turn around detainees’ radical beliefs in a matter of months. But two of its graduates, former Guantanamo detainees Ibrahim Sulayman Muhammad Arbaysh and Abu Sufyan al-Azdi al-Shahri, now lead Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — the Yemeni group that has claimed responsibility for the failed Christmas Day bombing of a U.S. airliner and is being linked to a recently foiled plot against key oil and security facilities in Saudi Arabia.

“That’s out of the playbook of Al Qaeda,” Addicott said. “They tell people, ‘If you’re captured, claim that your tortured. If that doesn’t work, if you have an opportunity to be rehabilitated, use that to get out. So many of them play this game and they know the buttons that they can push.”

There is no perfect solution, but there certainly is ample evidence of what isn’t working. As you’ve heard it said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Americans like to play by the rules, but the rules here are fuzzy. Is our moral obligation to the safety of our citizens and others around the world, or is it to please the ACLU?

Stephanie Hessler, former constitutional lawyer for the Senate Judiciary Committee, may have summed it up best, writing this back in Feb. 2009:

To close Guantánamo, there must be comprehensive legislation covering detainee trials, continued detention, and release. A few days after the election, the New York Times ran a full-page ACLU ad urging Obama to close Guantánamo “on day one, with the stroke of a pen.” If only reality were as simple as rhetoric.

No more going to rehab, baby.

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