Put them out on the streets of Des Moines and Duluth! What could go wrong?
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., according to Pentagon sources familiar with the action.
This action — coupled with the release of previously top secret legal opinions on harsh interrogation methods — demonstrates the Obama administration’s willingness to ignore reality.
President Obama’s decision to close the terrorist detention facility (known as “Gitmo” to the military) was made despite Bush administration determinations that there were no realistic alternatives to it.
Gitmo holds three classes of terrorist detainees: first, those that are held for prosecution of terrorist acts such as Khalid Sheik Muhammed; second, those who cannot be prosecuted and will be released or transferred to another country for trial or incarceration; and third, those who cannot be prosecuted (because the information against them is intelligence information inadmissible in court) but who pose such a danger that they cannot be released.
The last category encompasses a large number of the Gitmo detainees. The Supreme Court has held — in the Hamdan decision — that “administrative detention” is permissible in time of war.
After Obama’s promise to close Gitmo, the White House ordered an inter-agency review of the status of all the detainees, apparently believing that many of those held would be quickly determined releasable. The committee — comprised of all the national security agencies — was tasked to start with what the Obama administration believed to be the easiest case: that of the seventeen Uighurs, Chinese Muslims who were captured at an al-Queda training camp.
The Uighurs sued for release under the Supreme Court’s Boumediene decision, which gave Gitmo prisoners the Constitutional right to habeas corpus. Last October, a federal court ordered their release into the United States, but an appeals court overturned the decision, saying the right to make that determination rested entirely with the president. Since then, Attorney General Eric Holder has said that some of the Gitmo inmates may be released into the United States.
That, apparently, is what the White House plans for the Uighurs and others.
Reviewing the Uighurs detention, the inter-agency panel found that they 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-Qaeda training camp was no accident. There is now no ETIM terrorist cell in the United States: there will be one if these Uighurs are released into the United States….
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