On Dec. 26, I linked to a Washington Post article noting the Obama administrations had a list of 34 Yemeni terrorists at Guantanamo Bay who had been cleared for release and six of them would be returned immediately. With the failed attack on Christmas Day, I’m taking another look.
Some, including Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air, are suggesting the President Obama’s administration is rethinking their policy on trying to return terrorists to Yemen for detention, monitoring and rehabilitation. To be fair, it looks like their original intent was to send six back, see how it goes, and send more if things went well.
From the Washington Post article noted above.
The six Yemenis, along with four Afghans, will be transferred out of Guantanamo Bay in coming days. The release follows months of high-level meetings between the government in Yemen and senior American officials, as well as a visit to the country last week by Stephen R. Kappes, the deputy director of the CIA, sources said. The CIA declined to comment.
The above article indicated the United States and Yemen were making progress towards getting more detainees home to Yemen, but this phase – sending six back in mid-December – was to be closely monitored even though US officials had a sense things were going well.
December 25 put quite the wrinkle in future plans.
The New York Times, reporting from sunny and warm Hawaii …
… a senior administration official said Thursday that Mr. Obama’s interagency team had already decided quietly several weeks ago that the security situation in Yemen was too volatile to transfer any more detainees beyond six who were sent home in December. The government concluded it had to release those six because it was about to lose habeas corpus hearings in court that would order them freed.
So, we have an administration now saying they made the decision weeks ago not to send any more terrorists back to Yemen because the country is insecure – in other words a terrorist hot-spot – but they elected to send back six of them immediately due to a friggin’ legal technicality!
Are you kidding me? Were these habeas corpus hearings in a civil or military courtroom? Yeah, yeah … I know that habeas corpus is not a “legal technicality” but I think we are at war and this crap is not good. It’s not a war to these novices, it’s something to be dealt with by polices officers and the courts. You asked for it … you got it.
Those six returned back to Yemen were picked up and sent to Gitmo for a pretty good reason. It’s not like that’s where everyone went, those were some pretty evil folks who want to kill us. Got that?
Update: Andrew McCarthy has a new post over at National Review Online Monday morning discussing this same topic. Since he’s a lot more familiar with this territory than I am, go read his post please. An excerpt…
The courts have no more right to tell the president to release an enemy combatant than a president has to tell a judge how to rule on the validity of a contract. The president’s war powers are more than adequately checked by Congress, which could close Gitmo and require the repatriation of all enemy combatants tomorrow if it were disposed to do so. The courts should have no say in the disposition of alien enemy combatants in wartime. If they try to have a say, they should be ignored. Courts and presidents refuse to enforce unconstitutional acts of Congress, and Congress and the courts rein in unconstitutional acts of presidents. Unconstitutional judicial acts must likewise be checked by the other branches.
For too long, we have allowed one branch of government to override all constitutional restraints. That practice is not just restricting our freedom; it is now threatening our lives.