White House Won’t Say if it Intentionally Misled Congress & American People on GITMO TransfersBlog
At a March Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, President Obama’s Special Envoys for Guantanamo Closure denied that the administration knowingly released detainees to countries that couldn’t stop them from returning to the terrorist battlefield.
But after a thorough review of classified notices provided to Congress, it’s clear that isn’t true.
So did the administration intentionally mislead Congress and the American people? The White House won’t say.
When asked about the matter at yesterday’s press briefing, Press Secretary Josh Earnest filibustered:
Question: House Republicans are saying today that classified administration reports provided to Congress over the last three years show that the administration knowingly approved of the transfer of GITMO detainees to countries that were incapable of preventing them from returning to terrorism, and argue that administration officials have given misleading testimony about that.
So I was wondering how you respond to the request from Republicans to correct the record on this.
Earnest: Well, look, I think the record is quite clear about what President Obama has worked to do…
In a five minute riff, the White House ducked the issue of the conflicting testimony altogether – choosing instead to try to make the issue all about partisan politics.
But this isn’t about politics. It’s about America’s national security. And it’s about the facts. Here are a few already available in the public domain:
- According to the administration’s own statistics, 30 percent of detainees released from Guantanamo Bay have reengaged in terrorism.
- The administration admits that some of those released detainees have killed Americans.
- Meanwhile, the Obama administration has pushed detainees to places like Afghanistan (an active war zone), Ghana (a poor country with limited security resources) and Uruguay (where they were allowed to live just blocks from the U.S. Embassy).
According to news reports, at least 26 more detainees are scheduled for release by the end of summer. Pushing forward with these releases will not make America safer. That’s why Chairman Royce is calling on the administration to provide a full account for the inconsistencies in the Special Envoys’ testimony before any future transfers.