January 11, 2014 was the 12th anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay Naval detention center, and a number of leftist groups (some with partners linked to al Qaeda financiers) held a rally in Washington DC calling for President Obama to fulfill his promise to close it and release its remaining terrorists.
Gitmo has held 779 detainees. 155 remain; over 600 have been transferred to other countries. About half the remaining prisoners have been cleared for release but the government’s challenge is finding countries willing to both accept and secure them. Many detainees have also refused to go to countries that have agreed to take them.
According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, at least 30 percent of released detainees (that we know of) returned to terrorist activities, including Abu Sufian bin Qumu, released to Libya in 2007 and now reported to have been involved in attacks in Benghazi on 9/11, 2012.
Most Americans believe a secure military facility for enemy combatants somewhere away from American soil is a good idea, but the liberal left disagrees.
As part of a documentary crew interviewing participants, I attended the January 11 rally. It was a theater of the absurd, rife with unsubstantiated claims, poetry slams, and singing to President Obama. One participant read a letter from a Gitmo detainee who bemoaned, “I’m unable to fill the reservoir of love.” This is hard to take seriously from a terrorist.
The rally was a microcosmic opportunity to observe the left’s agenda. Why exactly are they so bent on freedom for detainees? Several rally members told me “detainees just want to go home to their families,” with no thought of the human toll their terror activities have wreaked. To hear them tell it, detainees would all go back to their countries and plant Zen gardens.
The “human rights” activists shouted quite loudly at President Obama to let these people go – the left is not appeased by recent releases. It is likely Obama fears being wrong about the “innocence” of those held in Guantanamo, especially in light of the recent Qumu news. Leftists are concerned with detainee “rights;” he’s consumed with image control if he lets a mass murderer loose.
Many stated the real enemies are not Gitmo detainees. Instead, Guantanamo is the darling of the military industrial complex, big businesses, and the Koch brother’s maniacal scheme for world domination. None could answer how they were related, or why corporate America would meddle in the war criminals detainment system.
That progressives view Gitmo detainees as victims is not just a problem; it’s a symptom of distorted thinking that has, to some extent, invaded today’s American culture and altered political outcomes much like images of polar bears floating on tiny ice floes.
The alarming truth is not that liberals have different ideas than conservatives. Its that they have different ideas than rational people — their goals have evolved into something sinister, but mired in do-gooder emotion. Attendees had no real answer for why Gitmo must be closed because the reason is irrelevant, replaced with thought-free, erratic, and dangerous emotion.
Closing Gitmo is a mistake because American lives are at stake with every prisoner released without extreme care. We must also be ready for a long fight against issues invented by the liberal left that mirror Guantanamo protests.
The Close Gitmo rally ended outside the National Museum of American History, which, ironically, is housing an exhibit on American puppetry. Event leaders demonstrated a burning hatred of America and sympathy with terrorists. They pull the emotional strings of their chanting followers, many of whom have been convinced that detainees are misunderstood, nice guys just hoping for a Sunday stroll without armed guards.
The Museum is also exhibiting the Purple Heart of a serviceman killed at Pearl Harbor and a replica of the medal hangs above its front door. In the global war on terror, an estimated 50,000 brave men and women willing to risk everything to protect homeland freedoms have received the Purple Heart, some possibly resulting from actions by the very Gitmo detainees activists want released.
While calling for releasing terrorists who pray for the destruction of our nation, it is unlikely any rally participants looked up at the banner above their heads and said a prayer of thanks.