If the current review board approves Abu Zubaydah for release, President Barack Hussein Obama will have won his struggle to close the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Even Khalid Sheik Mohammad is not as valuable as Zubaydah.
If Zubaydah is released from Gitmo then the only rationale that makes sense is that the President considers all detainees to be victims and should be released.
If this is the case then the enemy has won and the Global War on Terror is over once and for all. The Obama administration’s philosophy of fighting alomst-wars with bombs, drones and Special Forces will continue only as “overseas contingency operations.”
When one reads the Guantanamo Docket on Zubaydah chills run down the spine.
The docket for Zubaydah, easily accessible online via the New York Times, is 14 pages long, and documents his background. Captured in early 2002 and then transferred into U.S. custody, Zubaydah was sent to Gitmo in 2006 after intense interrogation by the CIA. The docket was published in November 2008 and carries the classification label of “SECRET.”
According to the documents, Zubaydah was “equal to and not subordinate to UBL (Usama bin Laden),” founder and leader of al Qaeda. Zubaydah was a parallel associate who coordinated activities and support operations, including planning and training for various terrorist activities, some successful, some failed.
Among other things, Zubaydah is a master forger and ran a fake and stolen document clearing house from which al Qaeda operatives could obtain myriad forged documents. Everything from false claims of torture to passports.
Zubaydah’s connections, associates and comrades ran the gamut and is a virtual who’s who in the world of terrorists, listed in his docket. From dirty bomb plots to planning the bombing of U.S. Embassies, Zubaydah always seemed to be in the thick of it.
A Palestinian by heritage, born and raised in Saudi Arabia, Zubaydah wished to carry out attacks on Israel, a sticking point between himself and Usama bin Laden, who favored American targets.
According to documents revealed in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, CIA officers concluded that Zubaydah, “Should remain incommunicado for the remainder of his life.”
Worst of the worst? Understatement.
Obama’s challenge to detractors will be: if he can let the absolute WORST detainee go, why not all the rest? He’s going for a grand slam home run, a 99 yard Hail Mary pass and the Triple Crown all at once.
If Obama fails he will probably blame it on former President George W. Bush for picking a fight with the bad guys in the first place.
If he wins, he gains his legacy, and he is vindicated. One big victory will erase all the other blunders, mistakes and missteps included, all in an instant. Why not go for the hardest point on the dice? Making the roll would wash away the stink that’s been covering him for nearly eight long years since he made the promise to close Gitmo in the first year of his presidency.
This president is beyond desperate. He simply MUST make good on his word and Zubaydah, his crucible, is his key to victory.
The question is, will Congress continue booing from the peanut gallery or will they actually do something to stop this insanity?
Gitmo is not playing a top roll in presidential politics, and the recent release of 15 high risk detainees to the UAE caused only a ripple in the mainstream media’s white wash of the released Gitmo terrorist threat, even though 30 percent of released Gitmo detainees return to terrorism.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump has said he would “fill up” Gitmo if elected in November. His position is one of the sheep dog, the protector. Hillary Clinton, if elected, would probably continue the current policy of emptying Gitmo to the point of critical mass, hoping to close it on the basis of economics. Is it really too expensive to protect the safety and security of the American People? She is the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Lacking center stage or any real attention from the mass media, Gitmo remains an enigma, a mysterious and notorious singularity in a sea of chaotic confusion.
From my view, Gitmo is the finest military detention facility on earth. It is a small but necessary piece in the big puzzle of how to keep America and Americans safe in the Global War on Terror. Closing Gitmo would give great momentum and strength to our enemies, and betray the promise of doing whatever it takes to protect the United States and its citizens from the scourge of terrorism.
I am the author of “Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay: A Memoir of a Citizen Warrior,” and three times mobilized U.S. Army Reserve Major (Retired). Author web page: http://sbpra.com/montgomeryjgranger/ Twitter @mjgranger1