Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, at the recent Aspen Security Forum, said that troops used to guard detainees at the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba could be put to better use.
Maybe Ms. Monaco would prefer we use the Military Police at Gitmo to protect military recruiting stations at home instead. But right now, with the Islamic State, we are experiencing the most aggressive expansion of an enemy of the United States in over 70 years.
It took two nuclear bombs to end it the last time against Imperial Japan; closing Gitmo would send a different message.
“This is not something that the president wants to turn over to his successor,” Monaco said. As if President Barack Obama gave a rat’s rear end about his successor.
In this May 25, 2011 file photo, protesters, both dressed in an orange overalls, depicting detainees at the U.S. military detention centre in Guantanamo, Cuba, one hooded and one holding a mask depicting U.S. President Barack Obama, demonstrates outside Britain's Houses of Parliament, in central London, where Obama was to give an address. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)
At a cost of $3 million per detainee, "We can be spending that money on a host of national security threats,"
The required “plan” to close Gitmo is no plan at all. It’s a fantasy.
The administration would “transport the 52 detainees deemed eligible for transfer to countries with appropriate security arrangements,” said Monaco. And the remaining detainees who are too dangerous to transfer? Either prosecute them under the Law of War, or transfer them to the U.S., according to the plan.
Both incredible and inappropriate actions. Some detainees don’t meet the criteria for prosecution under Obama’s 2009 Military Commissions Act, which gave Gitmo detainees virtually the same rights you or I would enjoy in a federal court of law. But the Law of Land Warfare states we can legally detain even lawful combatants, without charge, “until the end of hostilities.”
These are not jaywalkers. These are murderers and savages.
Transferring them to U.S. soil would cause lawfare opportunists to double-down on false accusations of abuse and torture, re-open habeas corpus arguments, and expose those who work and live near the facility holding the detainees to unfair danger from those who would want to free or kill the detainees.
Over 660 detainees have been RELEASED from Gitmo, and NONE have been executed, beheaded, hacked to death, blown up, dragged naked and lifeless through the streets, or BURNED ALIVE. But at least 30 percent have rejoined the fight.
What Monaco, Obama and the liberal mainstream media WON’T tell you about is the 70 percent of released Gitmo detainees we DON’T know about.
Why did we capture the detainees in the first place?
Unlawful combatant Islamists who want to kill us were first captured on the battlefield in the fall of 2001, just months after the attacks on September 11, that killed nearly 3,000 innocent people.
Soon thereafter we took the fight to the bad guys. CIA operative Johnny Michael Spann was the first American killed in our offensive against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. He was killed during an uprising in a prison in Mazar-e Sharif.
It was determined that no prison in Afghanistan could be sufficiently secured to affect a safe operation to get lifesaving information from the bad guys. We needed a different plan.
Quickly, my U.S. Army Reserve unit, the 800th Military Police Brigade (now the 333rd Military Police Brigade), out of Uniondale, New York, was tasked with making recommendations for an incarceration mission.
The leadership of my unit were summoned to the Pentagon. When they returned they told us we were to suggest locations and mission scenarios for detaining unlawful combatants in the Global War on Terror.
We discussed Guam, Guantanamo Bay, Diego Garcia, and Hawaii. Hawaii was the obvious favorite, but the fact was, we kept going back to Gitmo.
Gitmo was ideal for many reasons: It was isolated, secure, logistically appealing, and the legal limbo it would provide would give enough time, it was thought, for either the conflict to end, or a better solution to be found.
Nearly 15 years later, neither of those things have happened.
The war hasn’t ended, and in fact has mutated into something no one predicted: An Islamist Caliphate right smack in the middle of Iraq, a place we had once pacified.
US President Barack Obama speaks about his administration's drone and counterterrorism policies, as well as the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, at the National Defense University in Washington, DC, May 23, 2013. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
It’s true that there were some detainees who eventually had no intelligence value and did not pose a threat to the United States. They were released very early on.
Those who remained were the worst of the worst. Sworn enemies: Al Qaeda, Taliban and Islamist operatives, Soldiers of Fortune and mercenaries who would just as soon kill you as look at you.
I know, I took care of them from February to June 2002, as the ranking U.S. Army Medical Department officer with the Joint Detainee Operations Group, Joint Task Force 160, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The only reason they were taken from the battlefield and not killed was to obtain lifesaving information from them. They are all lucky to be alive.
As I told Fox News’ Fox and Friends co-host, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, “it’s insane” to let enemies go free while their colleagues continue to actively wage war against us and kill us.
One of the most powerful psychological weapons we had was telling detainees that unless they cooperated with us they would never leave Gitmo. Now that’s the going joke, as we are in the eyes of our enemies.
Thank Obama and his host of anti-military advisors and czars, only five of 55 of them who have any military experience, and none who have any Army or Marine Corps officer combat experience. Of course they are going to loathe the military and military solutions; they are completely ignorant and fearful of the military.
Obama is trying to ensure his place on the leftist wall of fame by pandering to Islamists and to Communist Cuba. Gitmo is a pawn and the U.S. military the whipping boy. When things go wrong, it’s the military’s fault. When things go right, Obama and his crew can’t get out of their own way trying to take credit.
What was it, two hours after the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage that the White House was awash in the colors of the rainbow supporting homosexual relationships?
How long did it take Obama to attempt to protect Americans in Benghazi? Thirteen hours?
Sometimes it’s not so much what you do, it’s whom you do it for and when.
Saying you support the troops is meaningless if you wait too long to stand up and DO something meaningful. The bottom line is, do you feel safer with detainees IN or OUT of Gitmo? If your answer is IN, then you need to tell your Congressman/woman about it, NOW.
DO something NOW – call your congressman/woman and tell them, “HELL NO, KEEP THEM AT GITMO!”
Montgomery Granger is a three-times mobilized U.S. Army major (Ret.) and author of "Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay: A Memoir of a Citizen Warrior." Amazon, Blog, Twitter: @mjgranger1
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