re: "The Guantanamo Bay Facility - Revolving Door"
"The public notices in the media become available most often one by one and are typically separated by months if not years. Periodically, then, it is very much worthwhile for The Counterterrorism Blog to refresh readers’ memories on the type of person who has been incarcerated at The Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba, known by its nickname “Gitmo.” I am indebted for a good deal of the research to a person who has spent almost two decades hunting members of al-Qa’ida, but who may not yet be named because “the hunt goes on.”
Literally hundreds of individuals, native to a good number of countries, captured in a number of locations, have been brought to Gitmo and held there for varying lengths of time. The legal aspects pertaining to their status are best dealt with separately from this column, but one aspect that should not get lost in the legal and media drumbeat over the cases is the number of former Gitmo inmates who have been released and who have returned to their efforts to carry out their version of Jihad. As in so many other venues, and in this one as well: Their actions speak louder than their words. Year after year, whether in Tunisia, France, Iraq, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and on and on, the “Gitmo Graduates” have been back at work in their chosen occupation."
"In a society like ours that established and that enshrines Freedom of the Press in the First Amendment to the US Constitution, questions are always legitimate. Questions by themselves, however, even those frequently repeated, do not constitute the “case-closed verdict” espoused by so many. Importantly, the questions do not address the lengthy process necessary when prison officials seek to differentiate among those who claim their innocence. Those who carry out the duty of determining whether someone incarcerated at Gitmo is a danger, therefore, owe it to us, the potential future victims of terrorist attacks, to be as certain as possible in their findings and their decisions. Those who raise the questions also owe us, the potential targets of future attacks, as clear a basis for their doubts and concerns as they demand. If anything, those who carry out the investigations appear to have erred from time to time on the side of being too lenient, too trusting."
"The releases themselves - now numbering in the hundreds -- point to an honest effort to separate the Terrorist “wheat” from the surrounding “chaff.” Even after such a lengthy process, however, the terrorist attacks carried out by a number of those released clearly are at odds with their earlier protestations of innocence."
"Finally, it should be remembered by critics and neutral readers alike that this is not solely a US problem. Gitmo is not the only facility from which terrorists have been released, terrorists who returned to carrying out terrorist acts, and the US is not the only nation that has released prisoners to its regret. "