Politics

Retired Navy Commander Says Obama’s Gitmo Plan May Result In Detainees On US Streets

REUTERS/Stringer

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Jonah Bennett Contributor
Font Size:

Retired Navy commander and former Pentagon spokesman J.D. Gordon stated in an op-ed Wednesday that the Obama administration isn’t mentioning a frightening aspect about its plan to close Guantanamo Bay.

In an op-ed written for The Hill, Gordon argued that because courts will have ultimate jurisdiction over detainees, rather than the administration, no guarantee in advance can be given that detainees won’t just be released onto the street in the United States.

“[I]f other countries won’t take them, they could just walk out of jail.  Detainees don’t have to escape from Supermax if judges let them out,” Gordon noted.

If tried, there’s a chance some dangerous detainees may be set free, mostly because at the time, “there weren’t battlefield detectives collecting evidence from global jihadists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” Without sufficient evidence readily available, detainees may follow in the footsteps of Ali Al Marri, who officials believed belonged to al-Qaida. Instead of a terrorism conviction, Al Marri served time for credit card fraud before being released to Qatar.

The White House confirmed last week that the Guantanamo Bay draft closure plan is nearly complete and ready to present to Congress, though it’s not clear Republicans will even consider looking at the proposal, unless forced by the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act. (RELATED: White House Confirms Draft Plan To Close Guantanamo Almost Finished)

On the Senate side, GOP Sen. John McCain has worked closely with the administration on this issue and tried to persuade fellow Republicans that closing the facility makes sense from a fiscal perspective. But Gordon thinks that the oft-cited annual figure of $3 million per detainee is misleading and itself full of extra and unnecessary costs. For example, prisoners have access to expensive exercise equipment, Ramadan feasts, satellite TV and catered meals, among other luxuries.

According to Gordon, the real reason why Obama is trying to accelerate Gitmo’s closure is because he wants to return the land to Cuba, even though the White House has insisted time and again that it won’t meet Raul Castro’s demands. When the Cuban Embassy recently opened in Washington, D.C., Cuba’s foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez, requested “the return of occupied territory in Guantanamo.” (RELATED: Republicans Battle Over Gitmo During Conference Merging Defense Bills)

Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.