Barack Obama is moving forward to close Guantanamo Bay prison despite the uproar this week over the exchange of 5 top Taliban leaders for US deserter Bowe Bergdahl.
In September 2011 NATO troops killed Al-Qaeda leader and former Gitmo detainee in an overnight raid in eastern Afghanistan. Sabar Lal Melma, who was released from Guantanamo in 2007 after five years of detention, had been organizing attacks in eastern Kunar province and funding insurgent operations.
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A report released by the House Armed Services subcommittee in 2012 revealed that 27% of Gitmo detainees return to a life of terror after their release. Now Obama wants to release Taliban leaders from Gitmo.
But Obama wants the terrorists released.
The AP reported:
President Barack Obama is moving ahead with his push to close the Guantanamo Bay prison despite the uproar over the exchange of five Taliban prisoners for a captured American soldier, an administration official said Thursday.
The government has been working to reduce a backlog of prisoners already approved after a security review for transfer to their homeland or repatriation elsewhere, the official told reporters.
The official said a “significant number” of prisoners are on their way toward release, but he declined to say precisely how many or when they would leave Guantanamo. The remarks were made on condition of anonymity amid fierce criticism in Congress over the decision to swap the five Taliban for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
The U.S. holds 149 men at Guantanamo. Most have been there without charge since the detention center opened in January 2002 to hold prisoners suspected of links to al-Qaida or the Taliban.
Among the total are 78 who have been cleared for transfer to their homeland or repatriation to another country if the U.S. can get required security assurances.
Obama came into office pledging to close the detention center within a year but was thwarted by Congress, which adopted restrictions on transfers abroad and a ban on transferring prisoners to the United States for any reason.
Last year, Congress eased the restrictions on transfers abroad but left in place a 30-day notice requirement that the Obama administration chose to skip in exchange for rescuing Bergdahl from captivity after five years.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said this week there would be calls for impeachment if Obama breaks the law again and releases more Gitmo detainees without notifying Congress.
Previously On Released Gitmo Detainees:
** Gitmo Detainees Re-Arrested in Russia
** Former Gitmo Prisoner Arrested for Terrorism in Moscow
** Three Former Gitmo Detainees Held in Morocco
** Former Gitmo Inmate Involved in Russian Terror Attack on Nalchik
** Former Gitmo Detainee Re-Arrested in Pakistan
** Seven Percent of Gitmo Detainees Return to Battlefield.
** Former Club Gitmo Detainee Carries Out Suicide Mission in Iraq
** Pentagon: 61 Gitmo Grads Returned to Terror
** Former “Rehabilitated” Gitmo Detainee Becomes Al-Qaeda Chief
** 2 Former “Rehabilitated” Gitmo Grads Appear in Al-Qaeda Movie
** 11 Former “Rehabilitated” Gitmo Grads Back On Saudi Most Wanted List
** American Teenager Murdered By Former Gitmo Detainee
** Breaking: Taliban’s Top Officer in Southern Afghanistan Is Former Gitmo Detainee
** Former Gitmo Detainee Leads Fight Against US Troops
** Another Former “Rehabilitated” Gitmo Detainee Killed in Shootout
** Former Gitmo Detainee Now Al Qaeda “Spiritual Leader”
** Former Gitmo Detainees Lead Yemeni Al-Qaeda Group Linked to Detroit Bomber
** Former Gitmo Detainee Leads Insurgency in Southern Afghanistan
** Thanks Barack… Another Gitmo Detainee Returns to the Fold
** 25 Former Gitmo Detainees From Saudi Arabia Return to Life of Terror