Ted Cruz: Obama's Gitmo policy makes no sense

Houston Chronicle:
President Obama signed an order in 2009 to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, but lo and behold, the camp is still operating in 2013.

This week, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights held a hearing to examine the matter at the crux of the issue: whether or where the Guantanamo prisoner’s should be relocated.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, as might be expected, was a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s decision-making process.

“Our national security policy should not be derived simply from bumper sticker ideology but rather from careful, hard decisions about how to protect the national security of the United States,” he told his colleagues.

Cruz noted that as of January 2013, the director of national intelligence has confirmed that 28 percent of former Guantanamo detainees re-engaged in terrorism after their release.

Cruz stated that the percentage is a “very inconvenient fact” that leaves America at a substantial risk.

The second fact presented by Cruz was that 500 prisoners, including senior members of Al Qaeda, escaped from an Iraqi prison on Monday.

“I think that likewise underscores the inherent risk in relying on foreign facilities to detain known terrorists,” said Cruz.

If the Guantanamo prisoners were freed, the Secretary of Defense would have to certify requirements and try to “buy down” the risk, according to Major General Paul Eaton.

When asked whether or not detainees would be less likely to re-engage in terrorist activity than those who were previously released, Eaton stated that the risk is relatively low, but it is not zero.

Cruz assumed that the risk of re-engagement would occur at a higher rate if we released prisoners today because the original 28 percent was based on individuals that would have been deemed the least dangerous.

The risk of re-engagement will go to zero if the detainees remain detained, said Cruz.
Obama's premise for closing Gitmo is that it "creates more terrorist."  I think this is a dubious analysis based on enemy propaganda.  It is no more likely that Gitmo cause more people to turn to terrorism than drone strikes cause enemy recruitment to increase.  The fact is that the enemy is the enemy and they will act like the enemy whether we keep Gitmo open or not.


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