We are stuck in two theatres of war due to W and the GOP is making it hard for Obama to separate itself from W’s policies, Guantanamo specifically.
The October 16, 2003 article “Rumsfeld’s war-on-terror memo” at
posed the question as the article stated “Does DoD need to think through new ways to organize, train, equip and focus to deal with the global war on terror?..
Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror. Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?”
Rumsfeld realized that for every terrorist we kill our policies are creating hundreds. Obama is trying to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan, but until he does, for every combatant we kill we are creating hundreds in his place.
In June 17, 2008, testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Alberto Mora, former Navy general counsel, said: “[T]here are serving U.S. flag-rank officers who maintain that the first and second identifiable causes of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq — as judged by their effectiveness in recruiting insurgent fighters into combat — are, respectively the symbols of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.”
The article “Bush Insider Reveals Guantanamo Deception: Hundreds of Innocents Jailed” at
states “Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson, Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, provided shocking new testimony from inside the Bush Administration that hundreds of the men jailed at Guantanamo were innocent, the top people in the Bush Administration knew full well they were innocent, and that information was kept from the public.
Wilkerson said President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld “indefinitely detained the innocent for political reasons” and many in the administration knew it. The wrongfully held prisoners were not released because of political maneuverings aimed in part to cover up the mistakes of the administration.”
Wilkerson was appointed Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State and started attending daily classified briefings involving 50 or more senior State Department officials where Guantanamo was often discussed and as the article states “It soon became clear to him and other State Department personnel “that many of the prisoners detained at Guantanamo had been taken into custody without regard to whether they were truly enemy combatants, or in fact whether many of them were enemies at all….
The people who ended up in Guantanamo, said Wilkerson, were mostly turned over to the US by Afghan warlords and others who received bounties of up to $5000 per head for each person they turned in. The majority of the 742 detainees “had never seen a U.S. soldier in the process of their initial detention…
As a consequence, said Wilkerson “there was no real method of knowing why the prisoner had been detained in the first place.”
Rove had W convinced that his permanent campaign mode of being president also applied to being the Commander-in-Chief and as the article states “To have admitted this reality would have been a black mark on their leadership from virtually day one of the so-called War on Terror and these leaders already had black marks enough: the dead in a field in Pennsylvania, in the ashes of the Pentagon, and in the ruins of the World Trade Towers,” wrote Wilkerson.
“They were not about to admit to their further errors at Guantanamo Bay. Better to claim everyone there was a hardcore terrorist, was of enduring intelligence value, and would return to jihad if released,” according to Wilkerson…
The refusal to let the detainees go, even those who were likely innocent, was based on several political factors. If the US released them to another country and that country found them innocent, it would make the US look bad, said Wilkerson. “Another concern was that the detention efforts at Guantanamo would be revealed as the incredibly confused operation that they were. Such results were not acceptable to the Administration and would have been severely detrimental to the leadership at the Department of Defense.”
W couldn’t admit he made a mistake and his holding these innocent people just makes the crimes worse. Of course the party of no is fighting Obama about Guantanamo as the MAY 11, 2009 article “How does closing Guantanamo Bay make us safer?’ New GOP Ad” at
We are making the US less safe because of W’s GWOT policies. The negative images of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are primary causes of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq — as judged by their effectiveness in recruiting insurgent fighters into combat.
There is nothing that Obama can do about Abu Ghraib and the GOP is fighting him about closing Guantanamo.