What if NYC Terrorist was bin Laden?

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The question is asked because even though President Donald Trump initially said that the man who killed 8 and injured about twice as many in an Islamist rampage on the Lower West Side of Manhattan bike lane using a rental truck should be sent to Gitmo and tried as an enemy combatant, but then later changed his mind, saying it would take too much time compared to a Federal prosecution.

He had it right the first time.

If the NYC terrorist is an unlawful combatant in the Global War on Terror, then he belongs at the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (a.k.a. Gitmo).

The problem is Obama’s 2009 Military Commissions Act, which gives unlawful combatant detainees accused of war crimes virtually the SAME rights you or I would enjoy in a Federal court of law. That’s why it’s taken years for several accused detainees to come to trial.

The Law of Land Warfare (U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10) and the Geneva Conventions allow accused war criminals only the same rights as an accused U.S. soldier would have under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Giving accused terrorists (unlawful combatants) an opportunity in U.S. Federal Court to be read Miranda rights, go free on technicalities, go to a Federal prison where they can spread their rhetoric and recruit other inmates and then eventually be set free puts us all at risk. Expediency should never come before security.

Gitmo is legal, and it is a small but essential piece to the big puzzle of how we defend ourselves in the Global War on Terror.

Trump needs to get Gitmo right and use Gitmo as a tool in our efforts to defeat the Islamist threat. He is fence-sitting, and it doesn’t suit him or his objective of winning the Global War on Terror.

Imagine for a moment that Osama bin Laden had been captured instead of killed in a raid. Would the President believe he should be tried in Federal court or a Military Commission? Why?

If Osama bin Laden had been captured it would have been the ultimate test of legal and political wills.

We are either at war or we are not at war. The Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) provides the legal permission to wage war against terrorists. It allows us to capture, interrogate and retain detainees. Once captured, the Law of War and Geneva take over as guiding edicts on treatment and privileges for those detained and those accused of war crimes.

Would bin Laden have been tried in Federal court or a military tribunal?

His status as the leader of al Qaeda and the planner of the attacks of September 11, 2001, would make him the top commander for the opposing forces. Surely if anyone could be tried for war crimes it would have been him.

Why then is there even a debate about the status of those who followed his example and perpetuate the jihad against the infidels?

Lawfare and politics.

Using the liberal legal system of the United States against us is not a new tactic, and has been practiced vigorously by our enemies since the very beginning of the Global War on Terror, shortly after the attacks of 9/11/01.

An al Qaeda manual captured by British intelligence prior to 9/11 revealed our enemy’s protocols if captured. They should lie about their treatment, claim they were abused and tortured, disrupt detention operations, threaten and harass guards and demand a lawyer.

That last part has proved most advantageous. The result? 730 Gitmo detainees have been released. None have been executed, beheaded, blown up, hacked to death, dragged naked and lifeless through the streets, drowned or burned alive, all things our enemies have done to us and/or our allies.

Never mind that at least 30 percent of released detainees are either confirmed or suspected to have returned to the fight. My concern is more about the 70 percent of released detainees we don’t know about. Where are they, your neighborhood, trying to rent a truck?

Even in a game of Capture the Flag the jailer knows not to release captured members of the other team until the game is over. Why then has our strategy been to release unlawful combatants before the end of hostilities? That’s not a winning formula, and it sends a message to the enemy that we are inferior and weak.

Some released detainees have been paid off by their governments of origin and profited from published book proceeds. So, if you survive the jihad and get captured by the Americans, you’ve hit the jackpot!

Former Gitmo detainees were allowed to claim habeas corpus, even though precedent dictated that even lawful combatant POW’s could not challenge their wartime status in civilian court. How then did we get from there to here, where an obvious and confirmed case of jihad has been turned almost matter-of-factly into a civilian crime? Expediency?  Convenience?

My patience with the POTUS on this one is running thin.

If your gut tells you that the NYC terrorist should be held and tried at Gitmo then so let it be done.

If bin Laden would have been taken and then tried at Gitmo, then so too, should the lowest member of the group.

If not, then we are not at war with unlawful combatant Islamists who want to kill us; we  are victims of random, disconnected violence, and should study the childhood of every terrorist and attempt to empathize with their disadvantaged upbringing and feel sorry for them and others like them, and then bear our throats for beheading.

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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

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.

Paris Weeps

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.”

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.

OBAMA SIDES WITH TERROR

Every American should ask themselves this question: “Do I feel safer with detainees IN or OUT of Guantanamo Bay?

If your answer is “IN” then you need to immediately contact your Congressional representatives and demand the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, remain open, and that President Barack Obama stop releasing and transferring detainees IMMEDIATELY.

The cost of letting unlawful combatants in the Global War on Terror loose is too steep.

Liberals ask, “shouldn’t we free those detainees ‘cleared’ for release?” I say the time for that is long past. There was a time to let those less significant Islamist minions go.

While I worked at Gitmo as the ranking U.S. Army Medical Department officer with the Joint Detainee Operations Group, Joint Task Force 160, from February to June 2002, I was part of a mission to return the very first detainee back to his country of origin.

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, in Washington. Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, listen in the background. (AP Photo/Mandel Ngan, Pool)

Abdul Razeq was a 25-year-old Afghan detainee who was collected on the battlefield in the fall of 2001. Rezeq told me that he picked up an AK-47 and fought with the Taliban in order to support his heroin habit. Razeq was also diagnosed schizophrenic.

It took us time to figure this out when Rezeq first arrived to Gitmo. His behavior was so bizarre that we nicknamed him “Wild Bill.” He hung things from his genitals, took bites out of his flip-flops, yelled obscenities indiscriminately and was generally unpredictable and potentially dangerous to himself and others.

This behavior was consistent with a non-medicated schizophrenic and cold turkey withdrawal heroin addict. Razeq was questioned, counseled and cared for. Eventually it was determined that he was no longer a threat to the United States nor of any intelligence value. Razeq was going home.

Once back in Afghanistan, Razeq was hospitalized and then interviewed by Newsweek, saying in response to the question, “How were you treated by your American captors,” he said, “They only once tied my hands. They gave us good food three times a day and biscuits for supper. They were trying to keep us in good health.”

Razeq’s story is unique, but there were other detainees with similar stories over the past 13 years that also resulted in release. I think most Americans can understand that, but it’s a much different ballgame now.

The Abdul Razeq’s of Gitmo are long gone, perhaps recidivists, perhaps not, but the release of KNOWN LEADERS of Islamist groups has no grounding in common sense. The high-risk detainees released by President Obama shock the senses of the average American, and closing Gitmo should be off the table.

Gitmo is in fact the finest military detention facility on earth. The Islamist equivalent is a PILE of HEADS. International Committee of the Red Cross physicians I worked with at Gitmo told me, “no one does [detention operations] better than the United States.”

In this pool photo, reviewed by the U.S. military, and shot through glass, a guard watches over Guantanamo detainees inside the exercise yard at Camp 5 detention facility at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba, May 31, 2009. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Over 630 detainees have been RELEASED from Gitmo, and NONE of them have been executed, beheaded, hacked to death, blown up or dragged naked and lifeless through the streets, all things our enemies have done to our allies or us.

There may be 30 percent known or suspected recidivists amongst those released detainees, but I’m more concerned about the 70 percent of released detainees we DON’T know about, especially the moderate to high risk fellows.

Human Rights First claims there are about 500 terrorists who have been convicted in U.S. Federal courts since Sept. 11, 2001, but only just over 300 convicted terrorists are serving time in U.S. federal prisons. Where are the other 200 CONVICTED TERRORISTS? Are they alive and well in Paris? Dearborn, Michigan? YOUR neighborhood?

Admitted Al Qaeda convict, Ali Saleh Mohammad Kahlah al-Marri was recently released by the Obama administration and then returned to Qatar. Marri was a close associate of Kahlid Sheik Mohammad, the Sept. 11, 2001 mastermind currently held in Guantanamo Bay, waiting for his war crimes trial. Marri was transferred from military to civilian custody after Obama took office in 2009. His case was reviewed and then he plead guilty to one charge of criminal conspiracy. Now he is free.

Remember the five Taliban leaders released by Obama in exchange for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl? They were also released to Qatar. WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Recent Islamist attacks in Paris, Australia, Canada and in New York City are not “lone wolf” incidents, as the mainstream media and Obama would like for you to believe. They are part and parcel of the Islamist offensive against anything that stands in their way of total world domination.

A hooded demonstrator is seen at a protest calling for the closure of the Guntanamo Bay detention facility infront of the White House on May 18, 2013 in Washington, DC. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Hyperbole? Don’t take my word for it. Take them at their word.

Establishing the current Islamist caliphate in Syria and Iraq is only the first step. A world-wide jihad, or holy war, is being waged in an unconventional way. From a hatchet attack on the streets of New York (not against innocent civilians, but against uniformed police), to an assassination of a Canadian military guard, these perpetrators are responding to a call to jihad devised and directed by Islamic State leaders, some of whom are former Gitmo detainees.

President Obama said in his State of the Union address that the United States has a “profound commitment to justice,” that the cost of incarcerating each detainee is $3 million per year, and that our enemies continue to use Gitmo as a recruiting tool.

The only recruiting tool our enemies will ever need is Sept. 11, 2001.

As for cost, what is the cost paid by the victims of terror and their loved ones, past, present and future compared with keeping unlawful combatants who want to kill us in Gitmo? And our commitment to justice is in tact, as we follow the Geneva Conventions and Law of Land Warfare with regard to detention operations. Not to mention the Military Commissions Act of 2009, crafted by Eric Holder and President Obama, gives virtually the same rights you or I would enjoy in Federal court to Gitmo detainees accused of war crimes.

According to the Geneva Conventions and the Law of Land Warfare even lawful combatant prisoners of war may be held without charge “until the end of hostilities.” Last time I checked the War on Terror was alive and well and living in Paris, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Canada, Australia, the U.S.

If you don’t admit you have a problem you cannot begin to resolve your problem. The president unilaterally declared the War on Terror OVER in 2013, therefore, if there is no war, there can be no ENEMY. If there is no ENEMY then all Gitmo detainees must be VICTIMS and deserve their FREEDOM, right?

To put it simply, if Obama were the jailer in a game of Capture the Flag and let captives go his teammates would beat him up. Is Congress up to the task? If not and Obama succeeds in closing Gitmo, there can be no question that he sides with terrorists.

Keep Gitmo Open

Gitmo remains the best, safest, most secure place for unlawful combatant Islamist extremists who want to kill us. 9/11/01 REALLY happened. 13 terrorist attack attempts on Manhattan were REALLY thwarted. A terrorist attack inside Ft. Hood, Texas, REALLY took place. Benghazi REALLY happened. We are at war, a Global War on Terror/struggle against Islamist extremists. And until al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other terrorist/extremists put their hands up and their weapons down, and promise never to kill or harm or destroy again, we will remain at war. Gitmo is a legal, professional and appropriate place for detainees, and calling for its closure gives aid and comfort to the enemy, and clouds the serious purpose of the finest military detention facility in the world.