This is from the Weekly Standard.
Consider the Taliban Five, released in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl. Although Obama administration officials initially downplayed the significance of these detainees, intelligence and military officials made it clear that they were high-risk transfers. Michael Leiter, the former head of the National Counterterrorism Center under Obama, said it was “very, very likely” that the five Taliban leaders would return to the fight. Rob Williams, the national intelligence officer for South Asia, who briefed Congress shortly after the transfer, testified that there was a high likelihood that at least four of the five freed detainees, and possibly all of them, would rejoin the fight.
And what about Ibrahim al Qosi?
[…]Was he a “low-level” fighter, as Obama suggested?
He is not. Qosi is now a senior leader in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as well as the group’s public spokesman. AQAP has repeatedly attempted to attack the U.S., while taking over large parts of Yemen. The dossier compiled by U.S. officials for Qosi demonstrates that he served bin Laden in multiple roles because he was so trusted.A threat assessment of al Qosi prepared by the intelligence officials on the Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) reported that he would present a “high risk” of taking up arms against the United States or its allies if he were freed from the detention facility. “Detainee is an admitted veteran jihadist with combat experience beginning in 1990 and it is assessed he would engage in hostilities against US forces, if released.”
Does this surprise you? It turns out that Obama regularly makes decisions that benefit America’s enemies, and put America’s allies and armed forces in harm’s way. His job is to make us safe, but his ideology prevents him from doing that, apparently. He just doesn’t have a sufficient grasp on reality that he is able to make decisions that produce good results for his clients – the American people. Instead, he wants to do things that make him feel good about himself – “look at me, I’m so merciful and compassionate” – and then when bad consequences occur, he tries to minimize the damage by lying about the harm he’s caused to his gullible followers. As if lying to them about the mess he’s made somehow makes the mess go away. I know that children sometimes do that, but this is the President of the United States. I expect more accountability.
And as for the misleading the American public:
“I am absolutely persuaded, as are my top intelligence and military advisers, that Guantanamo is used as a recruitment tool for organizations like ISIS,” Obama began. “And if we want to fight ’em, then we can’t give ’em these kinds of excuses.”
There is no reason that Obama would need to be “persuaded” of something that can be easily demonstrated. Either Guantanamo is a major recruitment tool or it’s not.
Administration officials have been making this claim for years and it’s not true.
Guantanamo rarely appears in jihadist propaganda, whether ISIS or al Qaeda, and reviews of recent propaganda materials from ISIS and al Qaeda – online videos and audio recordings, glossy magazines, etc. – found very few mentions of the facility.
“Keep in mind that between myself and the Bush administration hundreds of people have been released and the recidivism rate – we anticipate,” Obama said. “We assume that there are going to be – out of four, five, six-hundred people that get released – a handful of them are going to be embittered and still engaging in anti-US activities and trying to link up potentially with their old organizations.”
A handful? Obama is woefully ill-informed or he’s being dishonest. According to the most recent report on Guantanamo recidivism, prepared in September 2015 by James Clapper’s office, Obama’s own Director of National Intelligence, 196 former detainees are either confirmed (117) or suspected (79) of returning to the fight. That’s a recidivism rate of more than 30 percent. Intelligence officials tell THE WEEKLY STANDARD that those numbers are almost certainly low, as they do not include jihadists the United States and its allies are no longer tracking.
How many times have you seen Obama assert that “all the experts agree with me” without naming any? Do you know why he does that? Because no one agrees with him, and that’s why he cannot name any names. The surprising thing is that his gullible supporters believe that, instead of saying “name one person who agrees with you”. We have stopped asking questions, apparently.