It’s complicated, I guess, but the bottom line seems to be that when we release prisoners from the facility at Guantanamo Bay, they stand a good chance of ratcheting up their efforts to spread terrorism. Follow the link in this Wall Street Journal story (also on page A4 of today’s paper) and scroll down to look at a revealing chart.
Several detainees who joined “al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” — the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen that Monday claimed responsibility for the bombing attempt — were released under the Bush administration and repatriated to Saudi Arabia. Within a year, many had slipped into Yemen and joined al Qaeda. Some terrorism experts said the Yemen branch was of little consequence until the arrival of the Saudi Guantanamo Bay veterans. (via Obama Slams Security Breach – WSJ.com.)
Keep in mind the data in the chart was provided by the Defense Intelligence Agency and it dated “mid-March 2009.”
Advocates for releasing these prisoners come from both parties in Congress as well as both the current and previous Executive Branch, so there’s plenty of blame to go around. Why do we seem to have so much trouble believing and acting on information that appears to be right before out eyes? No question, we need to act lawfully and in accord with our Constitution, but having said that, do we have the requisite toughness of mind to deal with this challenge? I’m reminded of Sean Connery’s line as Jim Malone in The Untouchables: “What are you prepared to do?”