Skip to content

Obama: Guantanamo “Created More Terrorists Around The World Than It Ever Detained”

May 21, 2009

I am very pleased with the forceful words and tone that President Obama used today to describe the need for closing Guantanamo.  ( I have a few words of my own on this matter following the summation of his speech below.)  In his speech that makes me darn proud that this man sits in the White House and makes the decisions, Obama used logic to pry open the doors of failed foreign policy in order to shape new avenues to address the needs of the nation.

The US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay is a “misguided experiment” and a “mess” that must be cleaned up, US President Barack Obama has said.

Mr Obama said it had weakened national security and rallied enemies of the US, but he was determined to close it by January 2010 whilst respecting US law.

Mr Obama said the administration was reviewing every one of the 240 detainees still held at Guantanamo and considering what to do with them.

“We are treating these cases with the care and attention that the law requires and our security demands,” he said, describing the Bush-era approach as “poorly-planned, [and] haphazard”.

Explaining the basis of his administration’s approach to terrorist suspects and Guantanamo Bay, Mr Obama said the existence of the prison camp probably “created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained”.

He conceded that following through on his pledge to close Guantanamo would be “difficult and complex”, but insisted it was possible.

“As president, I refuse to allow this problem to fester. Our security interests won’t permit it. Our courts won’t allow it.”

But he offered a direct answer to critics who have said his plans would release potentially dangerous people onto the streets of the US.

“We are not going to release anyone if it would endanger our national security, nor will we release detainees within the United States who endanger the American people.”

Let me add a few thoughts of my own to those that the President made today

Over the past weeks I have heard this ridiculous fear that the prisoners from Gitmo would be released here in the United States.  I have seen with my own eyes otherwise sane people make the most outlandish claims.  The idea of “not in my backyard” attitude has dominated talk of detainee releases.  Somehow some folks think the prisoners are about to be released so they can wander the streets and create mayhem.   They are not going to be released.

First they would need to break out of the prison, and since they would be in the most hardened of institutions that would be impossible.  Since the Department of Homeland Security has spent years now devising ways of preventing terrorist attacks in far more densely populated and vulnerable locations than the ones discussed for housing the prisoners, I think the fear of a terrorist attack as a result of placing the prisoners here is also a lark.

There is a need to close Gitmo, and do so as soon as possible.  The President understands that, the world community understands the same and wants it, as do millions of Americans such as myself who care about the foreign policy of this nation.  In addition there is the moral wrong that this place has brushed our nation with by its very construction.  The rule of law, and the higher standards we state as our nation’s underpinning, must again guide us.

6 Comments
  1. May 21, 2009 10:35 PM

    I support closing Gitmo plus I support a detention system and a tribunal process for those who wish to kill us. There are three types of enemy combatants to address: non-state fighters caught on the battlefield, those identified as Jihadists,and those who support the enemy combatants. The supporters need to be exposed, caught and tried as supporters in criminal courts. Persons identified to us as Jihadists need to be interrogated (without torture) to discover if they are truly Jihadists and, if true, then neutralized thru confinement for some extensive period of time. The last group caught on the battlefield are actively fighting US troops and depending upon their actions on the battlefield, they should be killed or confined until they are no longer a threat.
    We cannot sleep soundly until those who wish to kill us are no longer a threat. What we need is mature men making practical decisions and not some ad hoc policy overseen by people who wish to be objective and neutral and ‘fair’. We should believe people who say they want to kill us and take appropriate action.

  2. Skip permalink
    May 21, 2009 3:28 PM

    I think you missed my point. It was not that, just because you don’t blog about a particular topic, that you hold no opinion on it. Rather I was trying to say that gushing over Obama for closing Gitmo is incongruous with with being opposed to the detention system. Gitmo is merely a place. The problem isn’t the place, it’s the detentions themselves. Your post reads, to my mind, that you’re gushing with pride for Obama for having relocated the abuses. These people are going to rot somewhere else. Only the location has changed. Closing Gitmo is not a qualitative change, merely quantitative.

  3. Paul permalink
    May 21, 2009 2:04 PM

    I think this might be the place to drop this on your blog. Hope you do not mind.

    A new CNN/Opinion Research poll finds that 63% of Americans think President Obama’s policies will push the nation in the right direction, with 35% saying those policies would send the country in the wrong direction.

    But the poll suggests that Americans don’t feel the same way about the Republicans. Just 39% say that the policies of GOP Congressional leaders would move the country in the right direction, with a slight majority, 53%, saying Republican proposals would move the nation in the wrong direction.

  4. mr.dictionary permalink
    May 21, 2009 1:34 PM

    my dad always used that term, i thought it had to do with the toilet

    guess not

    pot⋅lick⋅er  /ˈpɒtˌlɪkər/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [pot-lik-er] Show IPA

    –noun 1. Midland and Southern U.S. Eye Dialect. pot liquor.
    2. Dialect. a worthless or disgusting person or animal.

  5. May 21, 2009 1:15 PM

    Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate them.

    I am opposed to the detention system. Of course, it is wrong.

    I have supported President Obama most of the time, but I also have times when I differ with him, and have voiced my views.

    https://dekerivers.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/obama-wrong-prison-abuse-photos-should-be-made-public/

    Do not think just because I do not post on something that I do not have thoughts about it. The detention issue is most worthy of a post, and I am sure there will be plenty of whacks I will take on that issue over time.

  6. Skip permalink
    May 21, 2009 12:52 PM

    Are you also darn proud that Obama is considering a “’preventive detention’ system” whereby people could be locked up without a trial?

    From the AP: Obama “promised to work with lawmakers to develop a system for holding detainees who can’t be tried and can’t be turned loose from the Navy-run prison in Cuba.”

    I don’t know about you, but the thought of just locking up people with no trial – just Obama saying they’re terrorists doesn’t make me darn proud. Closing Gitmo looks to be all show because, in substance, Obama is following in Bush’s footsteps.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: