Trump vs Obama: The Gitmo Challenge

As sure as Casey Jones perished in a pile of smoke and broken steel amid the flame and fury of a head on collision between two burly and brave locomotives, President Barack Obama and President Elect Donald Trump are bearing down for a modern version of that fateful clash.

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“There should be no further releases from Gitmo,” Started the determined Tweet. “These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.”

With this pure and logical Tweet, almost as if on cue, the President Elect seemed to be responding to an editorial by the Washington Post earlier in the day, calling for him to close Gitmo.

His response? In your face.

Even more, it is finally a direct challenge to the President regarding his failed policy of releasing unlawful combatant Islamists back into the Global War on Terror.

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According to the Director of National Intelligence, 30 percent of released detainees have returned or are suspected to have returned to the fight. And what about the other 70 percent we don’t know about, where are they?

Everyone except the President and his floundering administration knows that releasing dangerous terrorists into a world plagued by terrorism is not in the best interests of the American People, or anyone for that matter.

For a President Elect who ran on and has repeated his top priority of “America First,” his Tweet about not releasing more detainees is consistent and shows the courage of his convictions.

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The President Elect has now done more than any other person, in government or out, in the last eight years to challenge and put the President on notice over his catch and release policy with regard to emptying Gitmo, most recently of the “worst of the worst,” as labeled by Donald Rumsfeld back in 2002, when Gitmo opened. These men are dyed-in-the-wool terrorists, highly trained, skilled and committed to killing innocent people of any race, age, gender or nationality.

Recently, President Obama announced the probable release of up to 22 more detainees from the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This prompted a few outcries from this law maker or that, but nothing seemed to get the President’s attention regarding the fact that we are still at war, and that releasing our enemies while that war is hot is at worst treasonous, and at best pretty damn stupid.

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The gloves are off, the face slapped and the challenge laid bare. The President can run, but he cannot hide from this test of manhood made in a simple Tweet. He must face the issue or move along quietly into private life and then leave the Big Boy issues to the Big Boys.

Sending Josh Earnest to deal with this one would be inadequate, even for Barack Obama. He has got to respond, and respond in a positive way or risk any shred of rationality left in his now fast crumbling presidency.

When the President responds, he must do so without the tired and false narrative regurgitated one more time in the Washington Post article. There is no “international outcry” to close Gitmo. Gitmo has never been used by our enemies as a recruiting tool, and the Administration has never once provided evidence of this claim. There is not nor has there ever been systemic torture or abuse at Gitmo, and calling the approved and legal enhanced interrogation technique “waterboarding” torture is a lame liberal after-the-fact label that just won’t stick. The fact is that there is no moral comparison between Gitmo and how our enemies treat captives.

Waterboarding works, and maybe it saved your life. Just ask Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks, whether or not it is effective, and whether or not he is none-the-worse for the wear.

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No, Barack Hussein Obama must for once stand up, look Donald J. Trump in the eye, and then respond to this challenge of character. The same-old, same-old responses didn’t work eight years ago when he promised to shut Gitmo down, and they are not going to work now. He must capitulate.

Unfortunately for us, the President’s modus operandi related to challenges of his failed policies are either to ignore them, lie about them, or double down and make the whole damn thing worse.

Like Barack Obama’s apology tour, red line in the sand, Benghazi lie, trading terrorist leaders for an Army deserter, calling terrorism in the US “workplace violence,” “no boots on the ground,” “overseas contingencies,” “the Global War on Terror is over,” Gitmo is his failed crucible. He will die on this hill as sure as you’re reading these words.

The political world of Barack Hussein Obama is falling down, has run its course, is absent of any credibility.

Unlike Casey Jones, who piloted his locomotive to the bitter end in order to save lives, knowing it would kill him, President Obama will almost certainly jump from the train in an effort to save his own skin and fight another day.

Rumors of the President working to establish a “shadow government” upon his exit from the Presidency in just several days is both typical of his personality and fateful for his legacy. One last temper tantrum from the man who could never get out of his own way because of failed liberal beliefs, he will disappear into the twisted wreckage of his tenure as our Chief Executive, and it appears that President Elect Donald Trump is going to make sure of it, Tweet by blessed Tweet.

Abu Zubaydah: Obama’s Crucible

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.”

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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

Osama bin Laden, 5 Years Gone

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It was five years ago that we learned Osama bin Laden had been killed by Navy SEALs in an overnight raid to his compound in Pakistan.

Before the year was out President Barack Obama withdrew all U.S. military forces from Iraq without a Status of Forces agreement that would have secured the peace in that tortured country.

A few years later, in 2013, Obama unilaterally declared “The Global War on Terror is over,” after announcing an end to U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan.

Now, just weeks after the death of a United States Marine in a fire base in Afghanistan, Obama has announced 250 more troops to Iraq and Syria. The fire base by the way was not part of the official count of troops in Iraq. The administration hadn’t said anything about the fire base or the Marine artillery units set up there to support a mainly Iraqi assault on nearby Islamic State held territory.

Days later, during the assault, and before engaging the enemy, Iraqi forces withdrew in a panic, leaving U.S. advisors with no one to advise there.

Meanwhile, things in Syria are getting worse. What to do?

Send in 250 more troops. What kind? No one is saying beyond that some of them are Special Forces.

Those of us with military backgrounds know that for every combat troop it takes from 5-7 support troops to keep that soldier at the tip of the spear fed, clothed, paid, accounted for, lead and supplied with ammo, INTEL, COMMO, security and transportation. In other words, there are not 250 more Boy Scouts camping in the desert.

What is our objective in Iraq and Syria? What end state is desired?

I’m not big on numbers or time, so I’m not asking how many troops or when we’ll be out. I’m results driven. I want to know the end game.

Military folks like to plan from the end. Where do you want me to be and when do you want me to be there? The rest is nuts and bolts, but commanders are supposed to communicate their intent to their subordinates, who carry out the mission.

Soldiers don’t like it when you don’t tell them details about the mission. The American Army has frustrated opponents since the Revolutionary War. We don’t play by conventional rules. We are creative on the battlefield. We fight, we win.

However, when your boss says it’s day when it’s night, it’s hard to trust whatever else follows.

 

The announced death of Osama bin Laden was an emotional thing for me to hear. Staying up late, unable to sleep when after 10 p.m. on May 1, 2011, I saw on social media announcements that the President had scheduled a hasty news conference.

I listened and watched, rapt and in shock.

Strange feelings of sadness and relief crept over me. It’s as if I didn’t know how to react.

After a few minutes the news began to sink in, bin Laden was dead.

I became euphoric after a while, remembering all the things in my life that had changed since 9/11/2001. I lost my job, I was deployed for about 2 ½ years over five years, and my relationship with family members, friends and colleagues had all changed as well, and none for the better.

I was angry at bin Laden for all of this, and for putting me in harm’s way at the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for six months, and then in Iraq for nearly a year. It was all his fault, and I was very happy that he was dead.

Or was he?

Why didn’t they show us official pictures of the dead body they say belonged to the evil terrorist?

Thrown overboard? In the sea? Why?

Were they hiding him? Did he actually survive?

Did they tranquilize him and then spirit him away to an undisclosed location to see how much information they could get from him? Why martyr him?

I still carry some of those thoughts.

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After Saddam Hussein’s sons were killed we saw gruesome photos of them. We saw photos of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Saddam Hussein after they were captured. Why nothing on bin Laden.

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It bothers me there is no closure, visually, to this person who caused so much death, destruction and heartache.

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Five years gone, but still alive in a soldier’s memory. All of it. From the bloody devastation of 9/11, to the deployments, to the raid, to today. Nothing has changed for the better. In fact things are worse now and not getting better.

 

Obama vs. Bwazir the Gitmo Detainee Who Wouldn’t Leave

So, Mohammed Ali Abdullah Bwazir, 35- or 36- year old detainee at the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a “committed” and a “trained al Qaeda fighter,” with a  four page Department of Defense docket, wants to stay in President Barack Obama’s gulag. Really?

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I can see the Saturday Night Live skit now. Obama travels to Gitmo to try and convince Bwazir to leave. He tells Bwazir that if he stays he will cause terrorist organizations all over the world to increase their recruiting. “It’s not who we are,” Obama would plead. “It’s an embarrassment,” he’ll kvetch.

“Are you kidding?” Bwazir would counter (to the theme of “Green Acres”). “Club Gitmo is the place to be. Island living is the life for me! Land and sea spreading out so far and wide, forget Yemen, give me this Caribbean paradise!”

Obama: “Bu, bu, but, Bwazir, my brother, you can go back to your squalid, dirty, disgusting life! You know, the one that led you to seek jihadi training at the Khaldan Training Facility, in Afghanistan?!”

Bwazir: “Barack, my brother, here, I get prayer beads, prayer rug, a free Koran, your military Muslim chaplains to help me pray (and smuggle uncensored messages to my peeps), and a green arrow painted on the floor of my cell pointing the way to Mecca. Plus, I get halal meals, and lamb and baklava on holy days.”

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Obama: “Forget about that! What about your mama’s home cooking? Sugar konafa, goat milk curds and honey-glazed beetles!”

Bwazir: “You don’t understand, Barack, my brother. This ocean air is good for my formerly sand infested lungs. I love to watch the black Cuban rock iguanas sunning on the beach rocks. The banana rats are hilarious when they fight for the food scraps we save to feed them with at night. Besides, they don’t have Harry Potter books in Yemen!”

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Obama: “OK, OK, so the flora and fauna at Gitmo are more entertaining than in your home town. I get that. But I’ve really got to close this place. I promised to do it over seven years ago and people are beginning to think I can’t keep my promises. Can’t a brother get some love here?”

Bwazir: “I feel you, my brother, but do you realize I have had better treatment here in 14 years than I could ever hope for back home or in some third world country of your choosing? Free check-ups, dental and vision care, and Ensure when I’m not feeling like eating for myself. And have you seen the candy they give in the MRE’s?

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Obama: “Bwazir, I’m going to have to insist that you leave.”

Bwazir: “OK, I will leave on one condition. I get to come and stay at your house. I hear you have two lovely daughters!”

Obama: “Whoa, there padnah! Let’s not get carried away! I said I gotta close the place, but coming to the United States is out of the question.”

Bwazir: “But I thought you had to prove to people you were not a liar. If you don’t close this place you will lose your legacy of effective foreign policy.”

Obama: “No, no, no. You don’t understand. If I let you come to the United States and let you loose people will say I don’t care about the safety of the American people.”

Bwazir: “Fine, but I don’t want to go back to Yemen. I want to go live with my sister and brother-in-law Saudi Arabia, or with my uncle in the UAE.”

Obama: “Uh, I’d like to do that, but we don’t have enough money to bribe them with, and they won’t take credit.”

Bwazir: “Then I am staying here. That turf soccer pitch is my field of dreams. I could never leave it, or this great free Muslim resort you have here. Thank you, my brother, but no. It’s the White House or Gitmo.”

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Obama: “Final offer?”

Bwazir: “Final offer.”

Obama: “OK, you can come to Washington, D.C., but you’ll have to accept a job with CAIR. Nobody who’s a brother of mine is going to live on welfare.”

Curtain.

On Obama’s Bloody Hands: Six Air Force Dead

Almost unnoticed or only given a passing glance was the recent murder of six United States Air Force members, killed while on a security foot patrol around an air base in Afghanistan. The pain and frustration over these deaths will linger for a long time, especially with their families, loved ones, and among those with whom they served, but also with those of us who understand the significance of the circumstances under which they were killed.

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The dead include the female commander of the security patrol, Maj. Adrianna Vorderbruggen, 36.  Tech. Sgt. Joseph Lemm, 45, a veteran of two prior deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq , and a New York City police sergeant.  Sgt. Michael Cinco, 28, of Mercedes, Texas. Sgt. Peter Taub, 30, of Philadelphia. Sgt. Chester McBride, 30, of Statesboro, Georgia.  And SSgt. Louis Bonacasa, 31, of Coram, New York.

Coram is a few minutes from my home on Long Island. I was a school district administrator where SSgt. Bonacasa went to school. And although we did not know each other, any time a neighbor is killed it brings home the serious nature of the Global War on Terror.

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Bonacasa was a husband, and a father of a young daughter. I know the anguish he must have felt in leaving his family to do our nation’s most dangerous work, for I left a two day old son to serve at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, just months after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Later, I served on two more deployments, including one to Iraq in 2004-2005 which saw me away from home and family for 14 months. Whether or not I was ever coming home was in the back of my mind every day in-country.

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Bonacasa loved his daughter so intensely that he wrote a poem about her and then had it tattooed on his left rib cage:

 

Daddy’s little girl,

The most precious person in my life

I can’t wait until that first night

Holding you in my hands

Now it’s time to be a man

From your first breath to my last

I’ll be there for you any way I can

Your pretty smile will melt my heart

And your sad cries will always tear me apart

Daddy will be there to wipe away your tears

And there to protect you from all your fears

Your sweet little laugh will be music to my ears

A beautiful gift from God to watch you grow through the years

There will be times when daddy is not around

He will be somewhere with his boots on the ground

There so at home everyone is safe and sound

When daddy is gone baby please don’t cry

Because for your freedom my baby girl

Daddy will die

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This heartbreaking promise from a father to his child is evidence still that we are in a bloody War on Terror, not simply some struggle against “thugs and killers,” as President Barak Obama would have us believe. This enemy is multifaceted and insidious.

Why then does our President pretend we are engaged with “lone wolf terror” and “crazy people” with guns? Every attack is connected in obvious ways, by philosophy, culture and yes, religion.

If this is not true, then why do we operate the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, like a Muslim resort: prayer beads and rugs, Korans, halal and special Muslim holiday meals that include lamb and baklava, signs in Arabic on guard towers and green arrows painted on cell floors pointing the way to Mecca, white detainee garb for the well behaved, and counsel from U.S. military Muslim chaplains?

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Obama’s denials that we are engaged in a war against Islamists fuels a misperception that has led to an inoperably thin effort that puts our troops in unnecessary peril. Too many missions, including the one that claimed these six lives, are under served with armor and overwatch – protections that should have been employed on such a dangerous mission.

I grew up as a soldier in the Army with the mechanized infantry as a combat medic, being told by my Vietnam veteran medical platoon sergeant and by the G.I.’s I served with that “you are an 11B (military occupational specialty nomenclature for infantryman) until somebody gets hurt.” They put the “combat” into “combat medic.”

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I learned every weapon system except for mortars, and trained to fire them. I understood the tactical and technical requirements of mechanized infantry missions. Later, as an officer, my first command was as a leg infantry medical platoon leader, responsible for support of line companies, scouts, evacuation and aid station operations. Inherent in all of this was the number one most essential element to any military mission: security.

The last nine years of my military career I spent as a medical service officer with enemy prisoner of war military police units, small liaison detachments responsible for operational oversight of detainee operations, both in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and later in Iraq. Again, the number one most important concern was security.

Four of the Air Force personnel killed, including Maj. Vorderbruggen, were members of the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations; think the Air Force version of NCIS, the criminal investigation folks. This leads one to think there is something more going on here than a routine security patrol around an air base. It leads one to believe there was an intelligence gathering mission going on. Why were the Air Force police on foot patrol? Why so many non-commissioned officers? Were there armored weapons platforms on overwatch or in reserve? Was there sniper cover? Helicopters? Drones? If not, why not?

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Was this patrol, like the thin defenses for our personnel and ambassador in Benghazi, politically motivated? Was the major being allowed to punch her combat ticket (gender and sexual orientation aside) for promotion?  Was she trained and experienced in such patrols or intelligence gathering? Was she a linguistics expert?

In my experience, it is highly unusual for a military major to be leading a foot patrol. Majors are field grade officers, and generally assigned to staff positions in headquarters units, not front line commanders leading troops into battle or on security patrols. Usually, the highest rank for an operational combat unit is captain, one rank below major.

Why were so many killed with one motorcycle improvised explosive? Were they grouped together too tightly? Were they following protocols? Who sent them on the mission and why?

We must perform all military operations with overwhelming force and with vigilant force protection. This idea from civilians at the Pentagon and in the White House that we can perpetrate a war with a tiny footprint and only Special Forces, bombs and drones is naive at best and deadly at worst.

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If our political and military goals are not the same, we will fail, and there will be more blood spilled needlessly.

As a former combat medic I know how difficult blood stains can be to remove, and it may take Obama a lifetime to get this blood off of his hands.

 

Obama Frees Bin Laden’s Body Guard as Paris Weeps

As sure as the sun rises hot and bright in the Syrian Desert, President Barack Obama has used another tragedy as cover for what is possibly his latest act of treason.

As Parisian’s weep and spread flowers and memory flames around a half dozen sites in their City of Light, Obama has released five more detainees from the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This time the list includes Ali al-Razihi, body guard to Osama bin Laden.

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There is no shame at the White house. There is no etiquette. There is no stopping them releasing unlawful combatant Islamists who want to kill us, not even as the fresh blood stains remain on pavement and floors where just days ago victims of terror lie wont and motionless in the time-frozen shock of sudden death.

When will Obama and his cronies awake to the reality of the Global War on Terror?

Releasing detainees will not win the Global War on Terror, nor will it degrade or defeat the Islamic State, who have the world on its heels. Despite many tons of munitions dropped on suspected Islamic State targets, they remain a deadly and viable force.

Bombing, missiles, rockets and drones only treat the symptoms of a murderous disease known as Islam.

Until all Islamists are dead or no longer have the means or will to kill us, we must defend ourselves.

In order to begin to defeat this enemy we must return to Iraq and Afghanistan in force, and then stay. We must implement a Middle East Marshall Plan and be as committed to it as we were at the end of WWII with helping to rebuild Europe and Japan. We are still in countries we defeated in WWII, not as occupiers, but as liberators and friends. Without our leadership and commitment, incidents like the one in Paris will continue and grow in their devastation.

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No one wants to say it, but how many internal attacks from the Imperial Japanese did the U.S. experience during WWII? None that I know of. Was it because of the internment camps set up by a reluctant but determined President Franklin Roosevelt?

We contained Japanese Americans during WWII in order to prevent insurrection, sabotage and terrorism. It worked. A human rights indignity now was an act of survival then.

Remember, it was Japanese posing as tourists who photographed and marked out targets in Hawaii prior to the launch of the attack on Pearl Harbor, one rationale for the internment.

Is bringing unknown “Syrian” refugees to the United States (or anyplace) a prudent thing to do given the mounting evidence that other “Syrian” refugees participated in the Paris attacks?

Should countries now place suspected Islamists in custody as an act of survival?

In the end, isn’t that what war is all about, survival?

Isn’t that why Gitmo exists in the first place?

World Trade Center Attacked

NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 11: Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center and explodes at 9:03 a.m. on September 11, 2001 in New York City. The crash of two airliners hijacked by terrorists loyal to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and subsequent collapse of the twin towers killed some 2,800 people. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

As unlawful combatants, all Gitmo detainees could have been lawfully killed on the battlefield. Instead, we captured them and then began systematically questioning and then vetting their stories. According to former President George W. Bush, in his autobiography, “Decision Points,” a handful of detainees were waterboarded, which saved many lives. Information obtained from detainees at Gitmo is also suspected to have contributed to locating and then killing Osama bin Laden.

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This photo made during an escorted visit and reviewed by the US military, shows the razor wire-topped fence and a watch tower at the abandoned “Camp X-Ray” detention facility at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, April 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO/MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

At the time, waterboarding was an approved Enhanced Interrogation Technique, and did not meet the internationally accepted definition of torture.

When Obama took office he unilaterally declared waterboarding torture, and it went on the list of banned torture techniques. Waterboarding still does not meet the definition of torture, and it is still used as a training technique for those American service people who may be deployed overseas and may be at risk of kidnapping.

Waterboarding works. Maybe it saved YOUR life.

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There are other things that work, too, that this administration is averse to using, such as boots on the ground. But for some reason, instead of doing things that work to protect the people of the United States, as every president is sworn to do, this president releases deadly detainees so that they can fight and kill again.

The office of the Director of National Intelligence reports that at least 30 percent of all released detainees are either known or suspected to have returned to the battlefield. My question is, what about the 70 percent of released detainees we don’t know about, where are they, YOUR neighborhood?

And what about those recently sent to the United Arab Emirates? How long will they be held there, and under what conditions? Where will they end up? Paris? New York? Your hometown?

What has happened to the five Taliban leaders released by Obama in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, the American deserter? Are they still in Qatar?

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I know one thing, if you’re fighting a war to win, you don’t release the enemy.

And therein lies the rub. Can releasing the enemy be considered treason – giving aid and comfort to the enemy?

The Obama administration must believe that the President is not responsible for what horrible things detainees may do after they are released from Gitmo. I beg to differ.

If you release a tiger from the zoo, shouldn’t you be held accountable for whatever the tiger does?

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With regard to the release of detainees and the Global War on Terror, we seem to be caught on the caboose of a runaway train, only able to see where we’ve been, and there are demons at the switches.

What will it take for us to gain control and then get ourselves back on the right track?

I am a three times mobilized Army Reserve major (Ret.), and former ranking U.S. Army Medical Department officer with the Joint Detainee Operations Group, Joint Task Force 160, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, February to June 2002, and author of “Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay: A Memoir of a Citizen Warrior.”

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!”