The Center for Security Policy (CSP) sent an email press release to my email and probably their mailing list.
U.S. Flag Officers: Keep Gitmo Open – Don’t Surrender Gitmo to Cuba (Summarized title by Editor)
Sent by Ben Lerner
Sent: February 12, 2015
Center for Security Policy
RETIRED FLAG OFFICERS, NATIONAL SECURITY EXPERTS ADVISE AGAINST TRANSFER OF GITMO DETAINEES AND SURRENDER OF GITMO TO GOVERNMENT OF CUBA
(Washington, DC): Today, dozens of distinguished retired senior military officers and national security experts signed a letter to President Obama, organized by the Center for Security Policy, urging him to keep the detention/interrogation facility at Guantanamo Bay open, and to refrain from transferring – either to foreign countries or to the United States – jihadist detainees currently held there. The letter also cautions President Obama against acceding to the demands of the Castro regime that the [Guantanamo Bay Naval Base] itself be surrendered to the government of Cuba.
With respect to the detainees held at Gitmo, the letter underscores the extent to which transferring detainees out of Gitmo, either to foreign countries or to the United States, poses serious national security risks. The letter states in part:
“The statistics concerning the recidivism rates of former Gitmo detainees should be cause for you to suspend indefinitely all overseas detainee transfers. According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, approximately thirty percent of detainees who have been transferred out of Gitmo since detainee operations were first established there – under the previous administration as well as your own – have either been confirmed as having reengaged on the battlefield, or are suspected of having done so. The actual number could well be considerably higher….”
“…While U.S. law prohibits the transfer of Gitmo detainees to the United States, or the construction/modification of facilities within the United States for that purpose, your former State Department envoy for Guantanamo closure, Cliff Sloan, has indicated to the media that your strategy is eventually to make the case to Congress that the “small core” that may remain after further foreign transfers take place should be transferred into the United States for detention. We believe that such a transfer into the United States would be unacceptable on both the domestic security and legal grounds.”
The letter goes on to explain the strategic value of the [Guantanamo Bay Naval Base], and the importance of maintaining U.S. control over that installation from a military and geostrategic perspective. The letter states in part:
“Quite apart from its use over the past thirteen years for detainee operations, Gitmo has served a vital security role for American interests in the Western Hemisphere since its establishment in 1903, and continues to do so. Notably, that installation provides critical logistical support to ships and aircraft involved in counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean, and also support for contingency operations in the region.”
“Even worse than the loss of this facility to our forces would be the prospect that its surrender to the Cuban government may well presage Guantanamo Bay becoming an important power-projection base in the Western Hemisphere for other, hostile powers (e.g., Russia, China or Iran). We recall that, in 2007, Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa – shortly before he informed the United States that the agreement allowing the U.S. Air Force to use the Manta air base for counter-narcotics operations would not be renewed – offered the use of that base to China. (Manta has subsequently become a conduit for the very drug-trafficking to this country that it once did so much to disrupt.)”
Among of the signatories of the letter were:
· Gen. Carl Stiner, USA (Ret.)
· Adm. Jerry Johnson, USN (Ret.)
· Lt. Gen. David Deptula, USAF (Ret.)
· Hon. Michael B. Mukasey, Former Attorney General of the United States
· Hon. Pete Hoekstra, Former Member of Congress; Former Chairman, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
· Hon. Kenneth E. deGraffenreid, Former Deputy National Counterintelligence Executive
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy, stated:
“The individuals who have signed this letter urging President Obama to change course on his disastrous agenda to close down the detention/interrogation facility at Guantanamo Bay, deserve the nation’s gratitude for having stepped up, yet again, in defense of the national security of the United States. It is also most welcome that the signatories of this letter recognize the geostrategic necessity of keeping Guantanamo Bay under American control, rather than surrendering it to the Castro regime, which would most assuredly use that base against the interests of the United States, and invite others to do the same. President Obama should heed the advice of these distinguished warriors and national security professionals and keep Gitmo open, operational and in American hands.”
The full text of the letter, with signatures, can be found below.
12 February, 2015
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As you are well aware, the Department of Defense has, since shortly after September 11, 2001, detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba dangerous individuals the U.S. government has designated as unlawful enemy combatants. Yet, shortly after you took office in January of 2009, you issued an Executive Order mandating the closure of the detention/interrogation facilities at that installation (popularly known as Gitmo.)
In the intervening period, you have transferred a number of those detainees to foreign countries, particularly during the past several months. You also reiterated in your 2015 State of the Union address your intention to close Gitmo and appear intent on removing from that secure facility the unlawful enemy combatants – jihadists that have been officially described as “the worst of the worst” – still confined there.
Meanwhile, public reports indicate that the Castro regime has demanded that the United States surrender Gitmo as part of any arrangement for normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba. As you have made a priority of achieving such a restoration of ties, you may feel tempted to accede to this demand.
Our past experience as military, intelligence, law enforcement and security policy professionals leads us to believe that the continued transfer of detainees out of Gitmo to foreign countries, and potentially into the United States, threatens national security and public safety. This is particularly true given events of recent weeks, during which we have seen a resurgence of al Qaeda, Islamic State and other jihadist organizations eager to deploy operatives both abroad and, if possible, here at home to carry out attacks against the West.
The statistics concerning the recidivism rates of former Gitmo detainees should be cause for you to suspend indefinitely all overseas detainee transfers. According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, approximately thirty percent of detainees who have been transferred out of Gitmo since detainee operations were first established there – under the previous administration as well as your own – have either been confirmed as having reengaged on the battlefield, or are suspected of having done so. The actual number could well be considerably higher.
Some of the former Gitmo detainees who have definitely resumed their jihad include: Abu Sufian bin Qumu, now the leader of a group that participated in the attacks on our facilities in Benghazi; Ibrahim al-Rubaysh, now a senior leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula; and Mazin Salih Musaid al-Alawi al-Awfi, also a senior leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. There are press reports that at least one of the Taliban commanders exchanged for Sergeant Bo Bergdahl has already returned to the fight. Such individuals pose a direct threat to our military and diplomatic personnel overseas, as well as to our civilian population domestically.
While U.S. law prohibits the transfer of Gitmo detainees to the United States, or the construction/modification of facilities within the United States for that purpose, your former State Department envoy for Guantanamo closure, Cliff Sloan, has indicated to the media that your strategy is eventually to make the case to Congress that the “small core” that may remain after further foreign transfers take place should be transferred into the United States for detention. We believe that such a transfer into the United States would be unacceptable on both the domestic security and legal grounds.
For example, the transfer of detainees to U.S. prisons or military bases would turn those facilities – and the nearby civilian populations – into high-probability terrorist targets. In addition, convicted terrorists are known to have plotted or facilitated attacks while incarcerated in our penal institutions. For example, Sayyid Nosair helped plan the first World Trade Center bombing from a U.S. prison. And Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman (a.k.a. the “Blind Sheikh”) ran the al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya terrorist organization from a U.S. prison.
Moreover, once inside the prison system, detainees will be better positioned to argue that prison security practices violate their rights and need to be altered. That was the case when “shoe-bomber” Richard Reid asserted the Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) interfered with his free exercise of religion. The Department of Justice chose in response to lift the SAMs at Supermax.
Furthermore, once on U.S. soil, detainees will argue that they are entitled, by virtue of their physical presence here, to a range of constitutional protections that can only, they will argue, be realized in our defendant-friendly civilian criminal court system. At least, some federal judges can be expected to entertain such a contention.
Given the circumstances surrounding the capture of these detainees – often on foreign battlefields – civilian prosecutors will likely be forced to choose between revealing classified evidence to secure a conviction, and dropping charges. Such a scenario begs the question of what we will have to do with detainees who, once here in the U.S., cannot be tried and cannot be sent overseas. The options at that point will be either to detain these terrorists inside the U.S. indefinitely, without trial and possibly in the face of court orders dismissing their cases, or release them here.
Additionally, proponents of closing detention operations at Gitmo often argue that the facility’s existence is a “recruiting tool” for terrorists. This ignores the fact that the United States was repeatedly attacked by terrorists during the decades prior to the commencement of detainee operations at Gitmo, including on September 11, 2001. To suggest that Gitmo fuels terrorism ignores history and the reality that the terrorism of greatest concern today is, and has long been, driven by jihadist ideology. Gitmo does not fuel global jihad; rather, it is global jihad that necessitates Gitmo.
That said, there is some truth to the idea that Gitmo has symbolic value to our enemies: It is certain that they would, quite properly, consider its closure a signal victory in their determined effort to demonstrate our submission and enlist new recruits to their cause.
It is also our professional judgment that surrendering to the Castro regime control of the U.S. naval facility at Guantanamo Bay, with its deep water port and airfield, would be a strategic mistake of the first order.
Quite apart from its use over the past thirteen years for detainee operations, Gitmo has served a vital security role for American interests in the Western Hemisphere since its establishment in 1903, and continues to do so. Notably, that installation provides critical logistical support to ships and aircraft involved in counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean, and also support for contingency operations in the region.
Even worse than the loss of this facility to our forces would be the prospect that its surrender to the Cuban government may well presage Guantanamo Bay becoming an important power-projection base in the Western Hemisphere for other, hostile powers (e.g., Russia, China or Iran). We recall that, in 2007, Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa – shortly before he informed the United States that the agreement allowing the U.S. Air Force to use the Manta air base for counter-narcotics operations would not be renewed – offered the use of that base to China. (Manta has subsequently become a conduit for the very drug-trafficking to this country that it once did so much to disrupt.)
The Castro regime is already making its ports, airfields, intelligence collection and other facilities available to our actual or potential foes. There is little doubt in our view that the Cuban government would be inclined toward similar arrangements with China or others with respect to Gitmo. It would be a serious dereliction of duty were our government to facilitate such a fundamental transformation of our strategic posture in the Caribbean.
For these reasons, we believe that there should be no further transfers of unlawful enemy combatants currently held at Gitmo – either to other nations or to any locale in the United States or its territories – for the duration of hostilities.
We further strongly recommend that the Department of Defense and other federal agencies refrain from spending any funds to accomplish the closure of Guantanamo Bay or the transfer of detainees abroad or to the United States, and that the United States reject Cuban government demands that this vital strategic facility be transferred to the latter’s control.
Gen. Carl Stiner, USA (Ret.)
Lt. Gen. Edward G. Anderson III, USA (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. John R. D. Cleland, USA (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. Vincent E. Falter, USA (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. Alvin W. Jones, USA (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. H. Douglas Robertson, USA (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. George R. Robertson, USA (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. Duane Stubbs, USA (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. Mel Thrash, USA (Ret.)
Brig. Gen. Dale F. Andres, USA (Ret.)
Brig. Gen. Terence M. Henry, USA (Ret.)
Brig. Gen. Darryl Powell, USA (Ret.)
Brig. Gen. Richard D. Read, USA (Ret.)
Brig. Gen. Warren A. Todd, USA (Ret.)
Adm. Jerry Johnson, USN (Ret.)
Adm. James A. Lyons, USN (Ret.)
Vice Adm. Edward S. Briggs, USN (Ret.)
Vice Adm. Robert Monroe, USN (Ret.)
Rear Adm. Lawrence Burkhardt, USN (Ret.)
Rear Adm. Robert H. Gormley, USN (Ret.)
Rear Adm. Robert McClinton, USN (Ret.)
Rear Adm. E. S. (Skip) McGinley, II, USN (Ret.)
Rear Adm. Don. G. Primeau, USN (Ret.)
Rear Adm. Hugh Scott, USN (Ret.)
Rear Adm. H. Denny Wisely, USN (Ret.)
Lt. Gen. David Deptula, USAF (Ret.)
Lt. Gen. Thomas G. McInerney, USAF (Ret.)
Lt. Gen. E.G. “Buck” Shuler, Jr., USAF (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. Henry Canterbury, USAF (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. Bentley B. Rayburn, USAF (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. Richard M. Cooke, USMC (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. J.D. Lynch, USMC (Ret.)
BGen. William A. Bloomer, USMC (Ret.)
BGen. James M. Mead, USMC (Ret.)
BGen. Michael I. Neil, USMCR (Ret.)
BGen. W.H.J. Tiernan, USMC (Ret.)
BGen. William Weise, USMC (Ret.)
State Defense Forces
Maj. Gen. John Bianchi, CSMR (Ret.)
Hon. Michael B. Mukasey, Former Attorney General of the United States
Hon. Pete Hoekstra, Former Member of Congress; Former Chairman, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Hon. Tidal McCoy, Former Acting Secretary of the Air Force
Hon. Kenneth E. deGraffenreid, Former Deputy National Counterintelligence Executive
José R. Cárdenas, Former Acting Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, U.S. Agency for International Development; Former Staff Member, National Security Council
Daniel J. Gallington, Former Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Policy; Former General Counsel, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Andrew C. McCarthy, Former Chief Assistant United States Attorney
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., Former Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy
Elaine Donnelly, 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Services
cc: Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee
Members of the House Armed Services Committee
About the Center for Security Policy
The Center for Security Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security and then ensures that such issues are the subject of both focused, principled examination and effective action by recognized policy experts, appropriate officials, opinion leaders, and the general public. For more information visit www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org
Frankly after going through five lying State of the Union Addresses I did not watch President Barack Hussein Obama’s speech last night. I leave it to a pro-troop organization Move America Forward (MAF) to provide a take on the Liar-in-Chief.
SOTU HITS & MISSES
MOVE AMERICA FORWARD STATE OF THE UNION RESPONSE
Sent by: Danny Gonzalez
Sent: 1/20/2015 10:38 PM
Sent From: Move America Forward
“Tonight we heard another artful speech from President Obama filled with uplifting rhetoric about moving beyond politics and working for the greater good. Despite tough talk, over the past 6 years we’ve seen very little action from President Obama to actually defeat Islamic radicals who kill Americans and threaten our way of life.
“The President said in the beginning of his speech that ‘the time of crisis has passed’ but the world is very much still in crisis. Obama is celebrating his retreat from the War on Terror while Americans overseas continue to die.” said Danny Gonzalez, Director of Communications.
“In Afghanistan, our troops are leaving behind a country that is just as unprepared for ISIS as Iraq was when Obama pulled troops out of Iraq in 2012. We hope this year the President will finally wake up and start calling our enemies by name, Islamic terrorists. As he calls for authorization to use force to stop ISIS in Iraq, we urge the President to engage the full might of the American military to accomplish this task and stop tip-toeing around while ISIS secures and consolidates its power base,” said Gonzalez.
President Obama delivered his State of the Union address and we’ve got all the biggest highlights — hits, and misses from the President and from responses!
HIT – The biggest hit of the night was when Obama recognized our troops and their service over the last 13 years at war. They received the biggest standing ovation of the night, far longer than any the POTUS got.
HIT – In contrast to the FLOTUS guest, Congressman Duncan D. Hunter invited Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, the Afghanistan war veteran who was held in a Tijuana jail by the Mexican government for over 200 days after he unintentionally crossed the border with firearms in his vehicle.
For all the time Tahmooressi was being held in a filthy Mexican prison, being mistreated and denied justice, President Obama did nothing to secure his freedom. Move America Forward joined hundreds of Americans who protested for Andrew’s safe return, which finally happened November 1st last year. No thanks to our Commander-in-Chief.
HIT – In response to Obama parading Alan and Judy Gross, Speaker of the House John Boehner invited political refugee Jose Luis Garcia who was a political dissident thrown in prison by the Castro regime for 17 years! Obama’s new Cuba is a reward to the Castro regime for their years of brutality.
HIT – President Obama SAID he wanted an authorization for use of force against ISIS. We couldn’t agree more, we must do more to combat ISIS. We must point out however, that ISIS has been a threat for over a year now, and still Obama has done nothing. The troops that he’s sent to Iraq have such a limited scope of mission, and the air strikes he has allowed have done very little. ISIS continues to hold huge swaths of territory in Iraq and executes more innocent people every day. We urge President Obama to use the full might of our military to actually do something about this, rather than just talk tough.
HIT – Former UN Ambassador John Bolton responded to the President’s State of the Union address on Twitter, tweeting “Have all Cuban political prisoners been freed yet? And Obama wants us to trust Cuba?” and he pointed out “Obama continues to see international threats as distracting from his primary objective to “fundamentally change” American domestic policy.”
We fully agree with Ambassador Bolton. Obama’s foreign policy is a disaster and every time one of those blunders causes a crisis, he defends himself by saying we are only using these disasters to score political points. Benghazi was not a “GOTCHA” moment as the president says, it was a disaster!
HIT – Bravo to Joni Ernst for delivering the Republican response to the President’s State of the Union. You will remember that MAF was one of Joni’s strongest supporters in her bid for the Senate. We support her because of her principles and because of her service to our nation. She is the first female combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate and we know she will continue to stand for our troops. In her response, Ernst said, “The forces of violence and oppression don’t care about the innocent. We need a comprehensive plan to defeat them.” We could not agree with Joni more. President Obama continues to ignore the spread of Islamic radicalism, he denies it even exists.
MISS – First Lady Michelle Obama invited an illegal immigrant to join her in a place of honor in the halls of Congress. Ana Zamora, who continues to break the law by continuing to remain in the US illegally, is held up as a standard of good behavior according to Obama’s liberal agenda.
She is here to serve as a symbolic THANKS from millions of illegals who thank President Obama for his executive order that amounts to amnesty, while our borders remain unsecured. Are we supposed to be impressed and applaud Obama for circumventing the law and promoting people who knowingly ignore the legal immigration system in place?
MISS – Another member of the First Lady’s guest list in the seat of honor are Alan and Judy Gross. Mr. Gross was jailed in Cuba and was freed as part of Obama’s new deal to reopen relations with the Communist nation. It’s a snub to the millions of Cuban citizens who are still stuck in that poor country under the thumb of a brutal totalitarian regime that continues the savagery established by Castro when he first took over.
MISS – In the first five minutes of the POTUS’s speech he says “…combat operations are over in Afghanistan… the shadow of crisis has passed” here again President Obama is CELEBRATING his retreat from the War on Terror while Americans overseas continue to die. Just today, the State Department asked all Americans to evacuate from Libya due to terror threats and the country of Yemen is apparently about to fall to a rebellion by Islamic-radicals. The situation continues to unfold, but Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest of the Middle East continues to be in crisis while Obama says everything is fine.
MISS – President Obama doubled down on his threat to veto any bills that sanction Iran, saying that these sanctions threaten all the wonderful progress he’s accomplished with stalling their Nuclear Program…but he failed to mention that his administration has missed every single benchmark they promised they would in their deal with Iran. We were told that after a 6 month period there would be progress…6 months came and went, and still no progress, yet the sanctions against Iran remain lifted, giving them tons of extra money which they use to fund terrorist organizations like Hezbollah.
MISS – President Obama shamelessly chided his detractors (MAF includes ourselves among them, sometimes) saying “A better politics is one where we debate without… “gotcha” moments, or trivial gaffes, or fake controversies that have nothing to do with people’s daily lives.” but we contend that Obama’s foreign policy blunders are NOT gotcha moments, they cost American lives, as we’ve seen in Benghazi and Iraq since ISIS started taking over. His foreign policy makes the world a more dangerous place by failing to confront those terrorists who would harm us.
MISS – For the 6th time in 6 State of the Union addresses, President Obama once again called for the closure of GITMO and claimed that he has cut the population of GITMO in half. All he has done in reality, is send new talent back into the arms of ISIS, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda. The current leader of ISIS in Afghanistan is a former GITMO detainee. Obama says this to score political points, but GITMO is not going anywhere.
Thank you for taking the time to review our #SOTU response. Below please take a look at our latest effort to support our troops on the front lines in Afghanistan.
We have created a very GOOD problem that we urgently need your help with.
If you want to help Move America Forward in 2015, we could really use a hand right now! We recently received hundreds of free boxes of See’s Candy thanks to a very generous donation from the folks at See’s for Soldiers and tons of authentic Girl Scout Cookies from a local supporter. In addition, we have a surplus of gourmet coffee that we received from Rogers Family Coffee Company.
Help us reach our goal of $13,800! We still have a long way to go…Will you please help us purchase the postage to mail these See’s Candies and Girl Scout Cookies to our troops?
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Troopathon – Is an annual eight-hour event we hold every year to help send packages to our troops broadcast live on the web. It has attracted pro-troop celebrities like Gary Sinise, Jon Voight, Duke University’s “Coach K” Mike Krzyzewski and John Deszo Ratzenberger. To donate or find out more please visit our Troopathon Website.
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