Attorney General Eric Holder testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. He was asked the same questions about closing Guantanamo Bay, trying terrorist leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City, and classifying some detainees as enemy combatants. If you were looking for something new and insightful, don’t hold your breath.
Just as before Holder insists on closing Guantanamo Bay and looks upon the issue for its symbolic importance. It does not matter that the administration has no idea what to do with the terrorists once Gitmo is actually closed.
His options appear very limited. To bring them to the United States without setting up a facility with adequate security is absurd. Releasing them is extremely unwise considering that, as John Brennan put it, “20% of the released detainees return to the battlefield.”
He is ignoring all advice from New York’s officials and is allowing the terrorists to say “make my day.” The terrorists will delight in having KSM’s trial not just in America, but specifically in New York City. If that isn’t challenging them to do something then what is? Remember, Bin Laden threatened to kill moreAmericans if his henchman is executed.
Actually, there was one slightly new revelation by Holder. He stated that 48 of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay would not be tried and held indefinitely as enemy combatants. He went on to say that there would be an ongoing review mechanism “to make sure they continue to be a danger,” and reminded everyone that these terrorists can appeal their status in federal court. How comforting is that? Even the Department of Justice considers them too dangerous to be released. So why have a review? What is going to change? Are these Muslim extremists going to wake up one morning and say they saw the light and suddenly realize that America is not the great Satan?
Take for example the detainee, Mohamedou Slahi. He is alleged to have been responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent Americans. As a 9/11 planner he is believed to have recruited Mohamed Atta and other ringleaders. At the very least, he was al-Qaeda’s “middle man” whose desire was to kill as many Americans as possible – as evidenced when he activated the Canadian cell that attempted to bomb Los Angeles International Airport. Yet he was released by a federal judge.
Andrew McCarthy, a former DOJ Bush attorney eloquently pointed out that:
“Who is still at Gitmo? The worst of the terrorists, including scores who are known to be dangerous but cannot be tried because, as in Slahi’s case, there is not sufficient admissible evidence to convict them of war crimes: There is only intelligence and coerced admissions — useful information but inadmissible in a trial court, civilian or military. Scores of detainees fall into the detention category to which judges are most hostile: indefinite imprisonment without trial. If that imprisonment is happening here rather than in Cuba, judges will be free to order the terrorists released here. And if they’d release Mohamedou Slahi, who wouldn’t they release?”
Once again Eric Holder and the Obama administration continue a policy that is dangerous to Americans. Going before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, the former could not offer any new insight on what to do with the terrorists, where they should be held, where to try them, and how to prevent them from being released. Although the adage that “no news is good news” is normally correct, I’m afraid this isn’t the case with this administration.