Zarahiri, Bin Ladens successor in a video vows to free all Qaeda “imprisoned brothers” at Gitmo. Due to the controversy over the US government force-feeding of some detainees, Zawahiri says the ongoing hunger strike exposes the “real odious and ugly face of America”.
Funny thing is Zawahiris’s opinion and Obamas on the hunger strike are similar. Obama said “history will cast a harsh judgment on this aspect of our fight against terrorism and those of us who fail to end it.” “Imagine a future –10 years from now or 20 years from now—when the USA is still holding people who have been charged with o crime on a piece of land that is not part of our country.—Obama
As is so often the case. Obama rhetoric on Girtmo is at odds with reality. 45 detainees have been fed via nasal tube during the hunger strike. One of those is Mohammed al-Qahtani the would be 20th hijacker.
President Obama own Gitmo review Task force recommended that 12 of the 24 detainees identified be held in “continued detention”. This is commonly referred to as “indefinite detention”. According to a file released by the DOD reads as follows: “continued detention pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (2001) as informed by principles of the laws for war.” Obama laments as he ignores the fact that some of those same men are going to be held by the US indefinitely because of a decision made by his own task force.
The same argument applies to 2 other detainees who were slated for prosecution by the task force. One is Mohammed al-Qahtani, this means that eh obama administration itself has no intention of transferring or freeing 14 of the 24 reported hunger strikers who have been force-fed. An additional 4 detainees are Yemens whom the task force placed in “conditional detention” because of the security situation in their native country. The President himself put a moratorium on transfers to Yemen after AQAP’s attempted Christmas Day 2009 attack on a Detroit bound airliner and since at least late 2009 the administration has had no intention to transfer these 4 detainees home.
In late May the administration decided to lift the moratorium on transfers to Yemen. But if the administration sticks to the task forces plans these 4 Yemen hunger strikers will not be among the first Yemen’s transferred to their home country.
The task force noted that one of three conditions must be met before these 4 Yemen detainees can be transferred: 1) the security situation improves in Yemen, 2) an appropriate rehabilitation program becomes available, 3) an appropriate third-country resettlement option becomes available. And third country resettlements have stalled for a variety of reason.
This leaves 6 detainees who have been approved for transfer out of the 24 identified as being force-fed. These 6 have not been “cleared for release” as has been reported. Obama task force recommended “transfer outside the US to a country that will implement appropriate security measures. President task force concluded that these 6 detainees pose some level of risk and din not recommend that they be freed outright. Obama wants to transfer them but has not been able to arrange their transfer either because of congressional restriction or because a host country capable of implementing the “appropriate security measure” has not yet been found. Each of the 24 detainees in question had been previously evaluated by Joint Task Force Gitmo deemed that 20 of the 24 detainees to be “high risk”, as they are “likely to pose a threat to the US, its interest and allies”. 4 were deemed “medium risk as they may pose a threat to the US , its interest and allies,” they did not concluded that any of these 24 detainees posed a “low “ risk.
In his latest message to the public, Zawahiri says al Qaeda “will not spare any effort until we free all our captives and on top of them, Omar Abdel Rahman, Aafia Siddiqui, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed”.
The controversy over the hunger strikers, however,, is tailor-made for al Qaeda propaganda operation. After all, even the president of the US thinks America is at fault for holding and “force feeding these detainees.
Sources—weekly standard, tom joscelyn, Miami herald