Is Yemen keeping Gitmo open?

NY Times:

The Obama administration’s effort to return the largest group of Guantánamo detainees to Yemen, their home country, has stalled, creating a major new hurdle for the president’s plan to close the prison camp in Cuba by next January, American and Yemeni officials say.

“We’re at a complete impasse,” said one American official who is involved in the issue, speaking without authorization. “I don’t know that there’s a viable ‘Plan B.’ ”

The Yemeni government has asked Washington to return its detainees and has said it would need substantial aid to rehabilitate the men. But the Obama administration is increasingly skeptical of Yemen’s ability to provide adequate rehabilitation and security to supervise returned prisoners. In addition, American officials are wary of sending detainees to Yemen because of growing indications of Al Qaeda activity there.

The developments are significant for the Obama administration because the 97 Yemeni detainees make up more than 40 percent of the remaining 241 prisoners. The question of what to do with them “is integral to the process of closing Guantánamo,” said Ken Gude, a scholar at the Center for American Progress who has written about closing the prison camp.

There is reason for concern. Many of the Saudi Arabia Top 100 wanted terrorist are hanging out in Yemen and the government has not been willing or able to bring them in. It has a record of releasing those it does bring in. I suspect the Saudis are as concerned with turning these guys loose in Yemen as the more responsible members of the US government are.

What this really points out is what a bad idea it was for Obama to close Gitmo to begin with. It was a PR play done in the vain belief that it would make people like us. I don't think it has or will work and it makes more sense to keep the terrorist in Gitmo than to turn them loose anyway. We can turn them loose after the war is over, if they live that long.


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