Judge Contradicts Obama’s Declaration of the End to the War on Terror

United States District Court Judge Royce L. Lamberth, in his decision dated July 30, 2015, in the case of Mukhtar Yahia Naji Al Warafi vs. Barack H. Obama, et. al., denied Warafi’s petition challenging the legality of his incarceration at the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Warafi’s argument rested solely on his assertion that because President Barack Obama had declared hostilities over and the war in Afghanistan ended, that he was no longer legally in conflict with the United States and therefore must be freed.

In his speech, on December 15, 2014, Obama said, “[t]his month, after more than 13 years, our combat mission in Afghanistan will be over,” and that “[t]his month, America’s war in Afghanistan will come to a responsible end.”

Judge Lambreth reasoned that the President alone is not the only source of fact that determines whether or not a thing is true. His speeches are not law, nor are they solely conclusive. “Using all relevant evidence [is] the Court’s responsibility [in determining] the objective existence or nonexistence of active hostilities,” she wrote in her opinion.

The judge reminded Warafi, who has been kept in detention at Gitmo since after his capture on the battlefield in Afghanistan in November, 2001, that his “detention is lawful under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force.”

The AUMF provides:

“[t]hat the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of International terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

The judge points out that “when it expires or how it may be revoked is left unsaid.”

In Hamdi vs. Rumsfeld, the judge points out, it was affirmed that when Congress authorized the AUMF that that authorization included “authority to detain for the duration of the relevant conflict.”

“The court concludes that active hostilities continue,” wrote the judge.

The mainstream media will no doubt ignore this fresh decision contradicting the President’s mantra that all is well in the world, and that there is no such thing as a Global War on Terror nor Islamist terrorists bent on killing us all.

Head-in-the-sand Obama apologists will not get a pass on this from me.

Too much American blood and treasure have been spilt and spent on protecting us from Islamist murderers. And what’s more, the murdering continues.

Why does it take a U.S. District Court judge to tell us all what is plainly true: there are bad guys out there who are still doing everything they can to kill us.

Further, the implication of her reasoning still gives credibility to the notion that we should be keeping detainees at Guantanamo Bay, not releasing them.

If hostilities have not ended, and we are still at war with “nations, organizations or persons” who wish to do us harm, then we need a place to keep those whom we capture in this effort.

The best, safest and most secure place for this is Gitmo.

Although not explicitly covered in Judge Lamberth’s decision, she has firmly closed the door on any rational thought behind the misconceived notion that Gitmo should be closed.

There is no wiggle room here.

The judge’s decision that the War on Terror is alive and well, and that those who wage that war on us may still be lawfully detained, is another nail in the lid on the coffin of Obama’s campaign promise to close the most famous U.S. military prison in history.

Plan to Close Gitmo Ignores Reality of War on Terror

Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, at the recent Aspen Security Forum, said that troops used to guard detainees at the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba could be put to better use.

Maybe Ms. Monaco would prefer we use the Military Police at Gitmo to protect military recruiting stations at home instead. But right now, with the Islamic State, we are experiencing the most aggressive expansion of an enemy of the United States in over 70 years.

It took two nuclear bombs to end it the last time against Imperial Japan; closing Gitmo would send a different message.

“This is not something that the president wants to turn over to his successor,” Monaco said. As if President Barack Obama gave a rat’s rear end about his successor.

At a cost of $3 million per detainee, “We can be spending that money on a host of national security threats,”

Monaco said. Like what, shadowing the Taliban Five Obama released for Bowe Bergdahl?

The required “plan” to close Gitmo is no plan at all. It’s a fantasy.

The administration would “transport the 52 detainees deemed eligible for transfer to countries with appropriate security arrangements,” said Monaco. And the remaining detainees who are too dangerous to transfer? Either prosecute them under the Law of War, or transfer them to the U.S., according to the plan.

Both incredible and inappropriate actions. Some detainees don’t meet the criteria for prosecution under Obama’s 2009 Military Commissions Act, which gave Gitmo detainees virtually the same rights you or I would enjoy in a federal court of law. But the Law of Land Warfare states we can legally detain even lawful combatants, without charge, “until the end of hostilities.”

These are not jaywalkers. These are murderers and savages.

Transferring them to U.S. soil would cause lawfare opportunists to double-down on false accusations of abuse and torture, re-open habeas corpus arguments, and expose those who work and live near the facility holding the detainees to unfair danger from those who would want to free or kill the detainees.

Over 660 detainees have been RELEASED from Gitmo, and NONE have been executed, beheaded, hacked to death, blown up, dragged naked and lifeless through the streets, or BURNED ALIVE. But at least 30 percent have rejoined the fight.

What Monaco, Obama and the liberal mainstream media WON’T tell you about is the 70 percent of released Gitmo detainees we DON’T know about.

Why did we capture the detainees in the first place?

Unlawful combatant Islamists who want to kill us were first captured on the battlefield in the fall of 2001, just months after the attacks on September 11, that killed nearly 3,000 innocent people.

Soon thereafter we took the fight to the bad guys. CIA operative Johnny Michael Spann was the first American killed in our offensive against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. He was killed during an uprising in a prison in Mazar-e Sharif.

It was determined that no prison in Afghanistan could be sufficiently secured to affect a safe operation to get lifesaving information from the bad guys. We needed a different plan.

Quickly, my U.S. Army Reserve unit, the 800th Military Police Brigade (now the 333rd Military Police Brigade), out of Uniondale, New York, was tasked with making recommendations for an incarceration mission.

The leadership of my unit were summoned to the Pentagon. When they returned they told us we were to suggest locations and mission scenarios for detaining unlawful combatants in the Global War on Terror.

We discussed Guam, Guantanamo Bay, Diego Garcia, and Hawaii. Hawaii was the obvious favorite, but the fact was, we kept going back to Gitmo.

Gitmo was ideal for many reasons: It was isolated, secure, logistically appealing, and the legal limbo it would provide would give enough time, it was thought, for either the conflict to end, or a better solution to be found.

Nearly 15 years later, neither of those things have happened.

So what?

The war hasn’t ended, and in fact has mutated into something no one predicted: An Islamist Caliphate right smack in the middle of Iraq, a place we had once pacified.

It’s true that there were some detainees who eventually had no intelligence value and did not pose a threat to the United States. They were released very early on.

Those who remained were the worst of the worst. Sworn enemies: Al Qaeda, Taliban and Islamist operatives, Soldiers of Fortune and mercenaries who would just as soon kill you as look at you.

I know, I took care of them from February to June 2002, as the ranking U.S. Army Medical Department officer with the Joint Detainee Operations Group, Joint Task Force 160, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The only reason they were taken from the battlefield and not killed was to obtain lifesaving information from them. They are all lucky to be alive.

As I told Fox News’ Fox and Friends co-host, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, “it’s insane” to let enemies go free while their colleagues continue to actively wage war against us and kill us.One of the most powerful psychological weapons we had was telling detainees that unless they cooperated with us they would never leave Gitmo. Now that’s the going joke, as we are in the eyes of our enemies.

Thank Obama and his host of anti-military advisers and czars, only five of 55 of them who have any military experience, and none who have any Army or Marine Corps officer combat experience. Of course they are going to loathe the military and military solutions; they are completely ignorant and fearful of the military.

Obama is trying to ensure his place on the leftist wall of fame by pandering to Islamists and to Communist Cuba. Gitmo is a pawn and the U.S. military the whipping boy. When things go wrong, it’s the military’s fault. When things go right, Obama and his crew can’t get out of their own way trying to take credit.

What was it, two hours after the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage that the White House was awash in the colors of the rainbow supporting homosexual relationships?

How long did it take Obama to attempt to protect Americans in Benghazi? Thirteen hours?

Sometimes it’s not so much what you do, it’s whom you do it for and when.

Saying you support the troops is meaningless if you wait too long to stand up and DO something meaningful. The bottom line is, do you feel safer with detainees IN or OUT of Gitmo? If your answer is IN, then you need to tell your Congressman/woman about it, NOW.

DO something NOW – call your congressman/woman and tell them, “HELL NO, KEEP THEM AT GITMO!”

What’s Inside a Veteran’s Head, Heart and Soul?

If you could crawl inside the head, heart and soul of a military veteran, what you would see would be what is on The American Veteran’s Art Wall (The AVAW). Visceral and vivid visions of pain, humor and self-reflection.

Veterans helping veterans tell the one in pain to “get out of your head.” That’s therapy talk for “Stop thinking and DO something!”

What The AVAW does is help you get “IT” out of your head. “It” could be a good “it,” or a bad “it,” or just an “it” that doesn’t belong there. While DOING that, YOU thus get OUT of your head.

That’s a really good thing!

Veteran Jarrod L. Taylor explained his visit to The AVAW this way:

“The idea that sharing a photograph, a drawing, a memory would make anyone feel differently at the end of the day…was too simple. Veterans already post and share on Facebook, so I wondered how this ‘wall’ could be any different. I looked at The American Veterans Art Wall, and as my buddy instructed, I read the descriptions that went along with each veteran’s post. Only a few images in, I understood the difference. This was individual veterans who were sharing parts of themselves with the world. It was raw and sometimes hard to look at, but it was very powerful. The American Veterans Art Wall, is a space where the men and women who have served our country, have a voice. I love that it is by veterans for veterans, and that is why I decided to make a post. Posting made me proud to have served and reminded me why I joined.”

The wall was the brain child of friends and colleagues, David W. Hahn (President) and Ricky Schultz (Executive Vice President). Their resume’s look like they belong in a Who’s Who of Hollywood and music industry hall of fame, but to talk with these men, you’d never know it. Humble, engaged and philanthropic, these two men share a passion for giving back to veterans that is unsurpassed.

The inspiration for the art wall came from Ricky’s dad, who was a decorated war hero. The wall project is dedicated to Col. Harvey L. Schultz, best remembered for his service to country, to community, to family and to God. Col. Schultz saw action in WWII, served in Korea, continued his military career in the Reserves until 1979, and earned the Legion of Merit. Col. Schultz died in 2010 but left a glowing example of how a man should live his life, with joy, honor and dedication.

In Col. Schultz’s honor, they discussed what would be fitting, and Mr. Hahn told me, “America’s common ground is found in its diversity, and what makes that diversity accessible to all?  American art and crafts.  Once held in esteem they have, like so much else, become a political football.  So we decided it was time to reintroduce the country to its common ground, the source of its uniqueness.  Art.  American Art.”

And who better to provide this unique expression of self than veterans?

After visiting and then contributing to The AVAW, Jarrod Taylor had this to say, “Not only is The American Veterans Art Wall a way to help our nation’s veterans feel connected, but it is a way to preserve the history of my generation’s wars for future Americans and to better understand other generations who served. You have created a continuum for this nation’s military.”

A connection. A continuum. Things hauntingly absent from a veteran who feels alone, un-cared for and forgotten.

Messer’s Hahn and Schultz emphatically say that once a veteran contributes his head, heart and soul to the wall through art, photography or creation, he or she can say, “I AM. I HAVE WORTH. I AM NOT ALONE.”

They say “art is the answer.” And I say, how could it not be?

The feeling of joy and completeness was unexpected, when on a whim I asked Mr. Hahn if I could contribute photographs of ceramic iguanas I made while serving with the Joint Detainee Operations Group, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from February to June 2002. I took care of bad guys. A job I describe as “hatred and empathy colliding in an emotional train wreck.”

I would later serve in Iraq, but emotions I experienced on my Gitmo deployment, my first after September 11, 2001, took me by surprise. I was wracked with guilt over leaving my wife and three sons, the youngest of which was born two days before I left for Gitmo.

When The AVAW accepted my art I was surprised, and then elated.

We all have our stories. We all have our baggage and our pain. But sharing those simple items I had made out of grief, solitude and anguish helped me move forward, and out of my head.

My Brother and Sister Veterans, it will for you, too.

I am a three times mobilized retired U.S. Army Reserve major, and author of “Saving Grace at Guantanamo bay: A Memoir of a Citizen Warrior,” dedicated husband, father, educator, veteran and Branded Contributor for TheBlaze.com.

Cuba and Obama: ‘Normal’ Relations, Abnormal Intentions

The U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been in existence since 1903, when Teddy Roosevelt signed a lease agreement with the new Cuban government, by mutual consent. U.S. Marines had landed there in June of 1898 in order to defeat the Spanish during the Spanish-American War.

In 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a new lease agreement with Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista. The agreement states:

“Until the two Contracting Parties agree to the modification or abrogation of the stipulations of the agreement in regard to the lease to the United States of America of lands in Cuba for coaling and naval stations… the stipulations of that Agreement with regard to the naval station of Guantánamo shall continue in effect.”

In 1959, revolution, led by communist Fidel Castro, deposed Batista. This also ended an era of technological and social advancement for the people of Cuba, who enjoyed prosperity and achievement via investments and tourism, chiefly by U.S. companies and by Americans. Today, the country looks as though it was stopped in time at that point.

Because of Castro’s belligerence and close relationship with the communist Soviet Union during the peak of the Cold War, President John F. Kennedy imposed an embargo on Cuba in 1961. Castro had allowed the construction and placement of Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) bases by the Soviets, which posed an in-your-face-threat.

The embargo is still in place, but not for long if current trends prevail. Our enemy/neighbor to the south is howling about the return of the naval base at Guantanamo Bay as a first step toward normal relations.

Who needs normal relations with Cuba?

President Barack Hussein Obama’s legacy does.

What other bright shining star of achievement could Obama hope to have as a centerpiece to his future presidential library? Giving up Iraq, Russian aggression, The Arab Spring, Chinese opportunism, The Islamic State? No, no, no, no and no. He desperately needs a win before sailing off into the Caribbean sunset.

Cuba actually presents an opportunity for a double win for Obama, should he succeed in sneaking into normal relations with Cuba. He promised even before becoming president that he would close the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, and now he has his best chance yet.

If Obama agrees to give the naval station back to Cuba, the detention facility goes with it. This would be at least a 100% improvement in jail standards for Castro’s Cuba, as current political and other prisoners suffer in real gulags at the communist dictator’s hands.

There is no right to freedom and liberty for citizens in Cuba. The vast majority of unprivileged Cubanoslive a meager existence, struggling with meager government jobs that pay only in non-convertible Cuban pesos, a devalued currency reserved for the masses.

There is a second economy in Cuba, one reserved for the ruling elite and foreigners. Western goods can only be purchased with a convertible peso tied to the value of the U.S. dollar. International tourists are forbidden from using the non-convertible Cuban peso, and can only purchase the higher priced items reserved for them with the convertible peso or with foreign currency.

This economic repression will not change due to new diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba. This is the big secret not discussed by even the investigative branch of the U.S. media [sic]. Lifting an embargo will only enrich those Cubans Castro decides should be enriched, and the masses will be left with nothing new, including the absence of hope.

In fact, the public relations behind the apparent thaw in relations is that the Cuban people “have suffered enough,” and that the old policy of isolation “hasn’t worked.” This has had the result of near hysteria among the low information liberals who still cling to Obama as their messiah.

Even a liberal arts public school in Sag Harbor, New York, announced it was planning a school trip to the island nation next year to develop “a global vision.” Will they tour the gulags, ogle the poorest of the poor; observe struggling Cubanos in their wretched second economy, working meager nowhere lifetime jobs? Now THAT’S a trip worth taking in order to develop a “global vision” . . . of communism. Be sure to get lots of photos to show the folks back home, kids!

All this unmerited attention has emboldened the Cuban government, namely younger brother to Fidel,Raul Castro, to demand the return of the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, affectionately called Gitmo (or GTMO in Navy speak).

The path to relinquishing Gitmo is clear. No matter how the White House wants to spin it, we are on a collision course with full diplomatic relations with Cuba, despite the lack of even ONE required change or concession on their part.

This recalls the free give back of the Panama Canal to Panama. A geopolitical blunder of global proportions made by liberal President Jimmy Carter. We built it, they keep it. Oh, and we get to feel good about it, too.

We built a city at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on 45 square miles of hard won territory fighting against the Spanish. We helped establish stability for the native Cubanos, and our investors and tourists helped establish a jewel in the Caribbean.

It is estimated that billions of dollars of investments, property and economic interests were confiscated by Castro when he seized them during the Cuban Revolution. Not a peep out of either the White House or Castro about reparations.

And so it goes.

It’s as if we are all passengers on the caboose of a runaway train, only able to see where we’ve been, and there are demons at the switches. And there are demons at the switches.