Jeb Babbin reports that “White House lawyers are refusing to accept the findings of an inter-agency committee that the Uighur Chinese Muslims held at Guantanamo Bay are too dangerous to release inside the U.S.”
After President Obama promised to close Gitmo, the White House ordered an inter-agency review of the status of all the detainees. Apparently, it believed that many of those held would be quickly determined releasable. If so, this belief was perhaps naive, considering that a large percentage of the detainees, presumably the comparatively “innocuous” ones, had already been released (some of whom promptly returned to their terrorist ways).
The inter-agency committee — comprised of all the national security agencies — was told to start with what the Obama administration believed to be the easiest case, that of the seventeen Chinese Muslims, known as Ughurs, who were captured at an al-Queda training camp.
According to Babbin, the inter-agency panel found that the Ughurs weren’t “the ignorant, innocent goatherds the White House believed them to be.” The committee determined they were too dangerous to release because they were members of the ETIM terrorist group, the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement,” and because their presence at the al-Queda training camp was no accident (realistically, how could it have been).
Babbin’s sources in the Defense Department say that “the White House legal office has told the inter-agency review group to re-do their findings to come up with the opposite answer.”
Would anyone be surprised if, indeed, the Obama administration is overruling the intelligence community in order to implement preconceived policy preferences? Would anyone be surprised if those policy preferences include erring on the side of aiding suspected terrorists (to “repair our image,” of course) rather than protecting the United States?
As Babbin puts it, “there is now no ETIM terrorist cell in the United States: there will be one if these Uighurs are released into the United States.”