Filed under: Foreign Policy, Law, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: Abdulmutallab, Guantanamo, Priorities
The United States has closed its embassy in Yemen because of the danger of terrorism from al Qaeda.
John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism on Fox News Sunday:
There are indications that Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is targeting our embassy and targeting our personnel, and we’re not going to take any chances with the lives of our diplomats and others who are at that embassy.
Abdulmutallab claimed that there are dozens more jihadis who are being trained to attack the west. We don’t know if anyone is climbing on an airplane, but we’re trying to find out.
Some of the Guantanamo detainees have been returned to Yemen, and released to return to al Qaeda and assumed important posts in the al Qaeda organization. Surely we aren’t going to release any more Guantanamo alumni to return to Yemen? No, we’re talking to the incredibly weak government of Yemen and having a dialogue about what we expect, and trying to help them out, but we plan to release lots more Yemeni detainees — maybe 60 or so.
But we’re absolutely closing Guantanamo because we claim that al Qaeda is using Guantanamo as a propaganda tool. And we’re sure that now the [incredibly weak] government of Yemen will now do the right thing. [sigh!]
So why are we treating Abdulmutallab as a criminal defendant instead of treating him as an enemy combatant and trying to get more information from him? [ Like who are those dozens of jihadis trained to attack the west?] Now that he’s had his Miranda rights and has a lawyer, he doesn’t have to speak at all.
John Brennan on Fox News Sunday:
He doesn’t have to, but he knows that there are certain things that are on the table and if he wants to , in fact, engage with us in a productive manner, there are ways that he can do that. [...]
There’s — there are no downsides or upsides in particular cases. What we’re trying to do is to make sure we apply the right tool in the right instance. In this case, we made a determination that he should be tried in a U.S. criminal court.
The entire interview with Chris Wallace was embarrassing. Yemen is so dangerous that we’re closing the embassy, but we’re sure that Yemen can handle 60 or more dangerous Yemenis who will be discharged from Guantanamo. The object is not to protect America from attack, but to close Guantanamo.
Obama made a big deal during the campaign about a promise to close Guantanamo. It was clear that he had no understanding of the nature of the detainees, no grasp of the nature of the detention facility at Gitmo.
The left, who basically do not believe in prisons and are sure that poverty and deprivation are the cause of all ‘misbehavior’ — saw those first photographs of enemy combatants in shackles and orange jumpsuits in outdoor cages — and that formed their permanent understanding of Guantanamo. Any of the stories told by inmates to their lawyers — flushing the Koran down a toilet, for example — were instantly accepted, in spite of the sheer improbability, because it fit their warped view of the American military.
Brennan went on to say that well, yes, Mr Abdulmutallab’s father’s information was entered into the TIDE record system, but nobody said he was a terrorist and was getting on a plane to come here and blow up the airplane.
They say “It was a failed attempt,” but nobody mentions that it was just sheer luck that Mr. Abdulmutallab did not succeed, along with the heroic actions of the Netherlands’ Jasper Schuringa. And most people think that 300 dead Americans is a very big deal. Maybe this all makes sense to you.
Here is the entire interview with John Brennan, the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism.
ADDENDUM: Late evening, same day. The radio announces that the embassy in Yemen is now open again. That closure was impressive.