Friday, January 23, 2009

Adios Guantanamo, Ahalan al-Qaeda

In 2007 the United States freed Guantanamo detainee Said Ali al-Shihri, a suspect in the bombing the U.S. embassy in Sana, the Yemeni capital. He was released to Saudi-Arabia, which placed him in a rehabilitation program for Jihadists. Yesterday, while Barack Obama was signing the executive order for closing of Guantanamo, a press release on the Internet announced that the freshly rehabilitated al-Shahiri has been promoted to deputy leader of al-Qaeda in Yemen. Intelligence officials in the United States have confirmed this announcement.

About half of the detainees remaining at Guantanamo are Yemenis who are as open to rehabilitation as al-Shahiri was. Freeing them will result in the shedding of innocent blood. Those who think that bringing those detainees to the United States will not result in many of them being released are naïve or not aware of the power of the ACLU and civil libertarians judges, especially under the current administration.

I do not share the optimism of many on the right who think that the document signed yesterday by Obama will result in studies and more studies, while the detainees remain in Guantanamo indefinitely. In twelve months Guantanamo will be closed, and the ACLU lawyers are already salivating at the prospect of giving the U.S. a black eye and al-Qaeda some of its warriors.

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