President Obama pledged to close the terrorist detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay, but Congress wouldn’t let him move the prisoners to the U.S. So Obama is de facto closing the facility by releasing the terrorists held there. The population is down to 127, after the administration released 28 in 2014. The release of the last five was announced on Tuesday; they will be “resettled” in Kazakhstan.
The administration describes these five detainees (three from Yemen and two from Tunisia) as “low risk,” but we’ve heard that before. Michael Ramirez is skeptical:
Probably that 30% estimate is low, since those are just the ones that have been identified. Still, I don’t know how critical we should be of the administration’s approach. Are we going to hold the detainees forever, until they die of old age? That was never in the cards. After ten years or more, maybe they should be “resettled,” except for the really bad guys like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who should either be held forever, or shot. Preferably the latter.
I think Gitmo should stay open to house future detainees, but the Obama administration’s approach is to kill rather than capture. I don’t have any problem with that, except that you don’t get any intelligence from a drone strike. Apparently Obama is fine with that, and maybe human intelligence isn’t as important as it once was, when we knew almost nothing about al Qaeda. In any event, one way or another Obama will have Guantanamo Bay closed, in fact if not in name, by the time he leaves office.