The Gitmo alumni on Saudi Arabia’s Most Wanted list

posted at 2:30 pm on February 4, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

How well does releasing Guantanamo Bay detainees work in keeping our nation safe?  Saudi Arabia provided an answer today by noting that eleven of the people on its Most Wanted list of terrorists are former Gitmo alumni.  All of them passed the Saudi “rehabilitation” process, too:

The Saudi government acknowledged Wednesday that 11 men on the country’s most wanted list are former Guantanamo prisoners who went through rehabilitation, raising doubts about a program intended to counter extremist religious ideology.

President Barack Obama signed an executive order closing down the prison in Cuba on Jan. 22 — his second day in office — leaving nations scrambling over what to do with a potential flood of released detainees.

Some 133 of Guantanamo’s over 700 inmates were Saudi, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Gen. Mansour al-Turki, and 117 have returned to Saudi Arabia and been through rehabilitation programs. …

The Pentagon issued a report on Jan. 13, however, saying that increasing numbers of those released have rejoined militant organizations and carried out attack. Figures from December indicated that 61 former detainees had rejoined these movements, up from 37 in March.

The Saudis want people to know that most of the people who have completed their rehab process have not gone back to al-Qaeda … at least not yet.  More than ten percent of them have already, though, and those are just the ones they’ve confirmed.  The rest may or may not return to terrorism, with AQ or another affiliated group.

We have released less than 500 detainees from Gitmo over the last few years.  Sixty-one have returned to terrorism, and that means we have to expend the same effort all over again to apprehend and detain them to keep them from killing Americans.  That’s a recidivist rate of over 15% so far, and a burden on our counterterrorist operations that we simply can’t bear in the long run.  If we capture terrorists just to release them, what’s the point in defending ourselves at all?

These aren’t common criminals returning to a life of burglary.  These terrorists have vowed to kill Americans here and abroad, and will do so whenever they see an opportunity.  Quit playing games with American security and take the threat seriously.

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I’m glad you picked this up.

Yesterday FOX ran this:

Poll: Americans Oppose Obama’s First Two Executive Orders
President Obama’s first two executive orders — allowing federal funding for overseas abortions and closing Guantanamo — have been met with widespread opposition, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The poll also found that more Americans — 50 percent to 44 percent –oppose the president’s decision to close the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects within in a year.

With this news, those numbers will rise if the question is asked again.

INC on February 4, 2009 at 2:34 PM

You don’t say.
Terrorists being terrorists.

HornetSting on February 4, 2009 at 2:35 PM

Ed, are you trying to convince us that rehabilitation doesn’t (always) work?


Red State State of Mind on February 4, 2009 at 2:35 PM

Silly Ed.

Guantanamo is what was creating the terrorists in the first place.

Once Gitmo’s gone, the wrongfully imprisoned will no longer have a reason to attack America.


JadeNYU on February 4, 2009 at 2:35 PM


Vashta.Nerada on February 4, 2009 at 2:38 PM

This why we should not capture them if they are not high value and could offer some valuable intelligence. Just a simple double tap to the head, and all is well.

MDWNJ on February 4, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Summary executions.

Johan Klaus on February 4, 2009 at 4:09 PM

Obama appears to want to secure peace through capitulation and surrender.

This is going to do nothing but increase the strength and will of the Jihadist (like al-qaeda growing to enormous strength during the Clinton administration) resulting in the deaths of thousands.

This worrying about the feelings of the terrorist while they play by no rules at all is also going to put our Soldiers at more risk out there on the battlefield with impossible ROE requirements.

This Soldier sums up the idiocy of where we are going with
these appeasement policies:


The Drill SGT said...

AL said…Massacring people or killing prisoners is not one of those values.

Sadly, you aren’t in touch with life in a combat zone as it occurs down at the squad level. where SGT’s rule.

I’m not even close to talking about killing prisoners. What I am saying is that squadies care about squadies and about getting home, and then about completing the mission.

There is “killing prisoners”, which I am NOT saying happens, nor am I advocating, and then there is “being very careful”, and not creating many circumstances were there are prisoners to be taken.

Understand, taking prisoners is risky. SGT’s will just decide those risks are not worth it, unless the old man insists.

1. Get them surrounded is tough some times and dangerous. If you don’t surround them, they’ll slip away to kill you tomorrow, while you are talking

2. get a friendly in close enough to talk and convince them to surrender. gives away your position, risky for our talker, etc

3. you get 4 guys to walk out of the hut with their hands up. When you secure em,their guy on the RPD LMG hoses you all down. risky

4. Or, you get the 4 guys off to the side and one of them detonates his belt bomb and the Old man has to write more letters home. risky

better some times to stand back and call for a smart bomb on the hut or put a couple of 40MM through the windows, followed by a grenade in the door then sort things out

everybody is playing for keeps, and ultimately our casualties are the only thing that counts.

This is in regards to the restrictions that the coffee shop Generals want to put on our Soldiers while they are on the battlefield.(a little sarcasm also)
The Drill SGT said…

OK, AL, what would you do now that my SGT captured, guys that tossed grenade that killed SPC Nieves, and wounded PFC Johnson with the RPD?

let me get you started.

1. you gonna have your FBI agents bag the RPD as evidence, establish a chain of custody all te way to trial. take all the crime scene photos (under fire)

2. put another agent on the medevac (kicking of 1 of our lightly wounded) in order to get back to the EVAC Hospital and get control of the bullet comnout f Johnson’s leg?

3. stand down the mission to get witness statements?

4. Fingerprints and DNA all around?

then what?

a. release to the local miliary? can’t do that, they might be hurt?

b.stand trial in Federal court 3 yeas later? bring all the witnesses in?

c. just send them home?

what would you and Obama do?

This may seem over the top,but trying terrorist in our court system successfully would require actions close to these.

Obama’s lack of experience and being devoid of any leadership qualities what-so-ever combined with his far left
agenda is going to get a lot of people killed.

Baxter Greene on February 4, 2009 at 4:11 PM

Just a simple double tap to the head, and all is well.

MDWNJ on February 4, 2009 at 3:48 PM

one would do it
use correct ammo .50 desert eagle


Why do we allow the other side to control the language??
Today there is some discussion of 11 former Gitmo detainees on the Saudi most-wanted list.

That’s a recidivist rate of over 15%

Recidivism – closely related to the word ‘relapse’ – implies that one has changed or been rehabilitated… then changed back! It also proceeds for the concept of ‘corrections’ so dominant in the penal activity elements of our society.
Someone in SA is willing to certify that a terrorist has been rehabilitated after a rehab process?? What is wrong with the minds that try to determine such things??
The reason Guantanamo exists in not for corrections (which implies due process) – it is for confinement or for detention. The very reason Gitmo was chosen is because it’s not on US soil and thus provides planned prohibitions on due process. The fact that they are not on US soil is intentional because we do not want to grant them access to US courts where normal US rightsd (such as habeas corpus) must be granted.
These are men that we caught on battlefields participating as combatants. It’s folly to entertain the idea that they might be open to a process of ‘correction’ or even ‘brainwashing’.
These characters won’t change, corrections won’t ‘take’ and that should not be the goal in the first place, especially when we admit that Gitmo is offshore for the very reason of depriving them of due process. Due process is not a concept you apply to enemy combatants in a war. It’s not a concept contained in the Geneva Conventions, either.
If we don’t put our foot down refuse to have the conversation about recidivism without embarking in a ‘correction’ of the concepts we are discussing, we can expect to lose the argument.
It may be a painful hair to split, but when we capture an enemy combatant on the battlefield, we make no moral distiction about whether that person’s actions were right or wrong. We judge simply that they were on the battlefield, bearing arms, and thus we detain them for the duration.
If we allow the concept that detainees are criminals entitled to due process, then we must also grant that other nations can try our soldiers for ‘crimes’ when our soldiers are captured. I think most would agree that this is not a good precedent to set. Our supreme court may occasionally and sadly look offshore for precedent these days, but non-US courts are frequently far, far more bold. Once a foreign court decides – hey, the US tries them, we should too – then we are in deep, deep doo-doo for good.
After only a few trials offshore like this, a draft would be an absolute requirement.
We are capable of pointing out that the conversation contains concepts that don’t apply. Our failure to do this is one of the reasons we seem to be ‘losing’ this argument with the left.

ElRonaldo on February 4, 2009 at 4:16 PM

And why hasn’t anyone in the Obama Administration over the past, gasp…15 Days…figured this out yet?

With one or two very minor exceptions, these fanatics dedicated their lives to killing infidels and heretics, swore a blood oath to kill Americans, and have shown a pretty keen willingness to make sure it happens…and Obama wants to close Gitmo’s detention facilities why?

The lesser fish, the minor foot soldiers, the ash and trash that follows any sort of military unit or even rebel or bandit or jihadist group DO NOT end up at Gitmo’s detention facilities. They just don’t make the grade.

Obama might as well release all the rapists, murderers, serial killers and child predators from regular old American prisons…they cannot be rehabilitated either.

Can the Messiah be this dense? 1445 days to go…gonna be a long long “Administration,” that’s for sure.

coldwarrior on February 4, 2009 at 4:16 PM

Baxter Greene on February 4, 2009 at 4:11 PM

ElRonaldo on February 4, 2009 at 4:16 PM


You guys “get it.” You understand the rubric entirely.

So, why is it so difficult for the “experts” to “get it” as well?

coldwarrior on February 4, 2009 at 4:22 PM

This is how Mr. Holder used to look at taking care of terrorist:

Notable & Quotable
Eric Holder the Neo-con

Eric Holder (Barack Obama’s choice for Attorney General), on the question of whether unlawful combatants captured in the war on terror are entitled to prisoner-of-war status under the Geneva Convention. From an interview on CNN, January 2002:

One of the things we clearly want to do with these prisoners is to have an ability to interrogate them and find out what their future plans might be, where other cells are located; under the Geneva Convention that you are really limited in the amount of information that you can elicit from people.

It seems to me that given the way in which they have conducted themselves, however, that they are not, in fact, people entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention. They are not prisoners of war. If, for instance, Mohamed Atta had survived the attack on the World Trade Center, would we now be calling him a prisoner of war? I think not. Should Zacarias Moussaoui be called a prisoner of war? Again, I think not.

Bush has been so successful in fighting the War on Terror and keeping this country safe,that these 180’s that liberals like Holder are making seem noble until a bomb goes off.

Baxter Greene on February 4, 2009 at 4:23 PM

So, why is it so difficult for the “experts” to “get it” as well?

coldwarrior on February 4, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Because they are only experts in a classroom or at a wine tasting party,which has nothing to do with real life.

Reality is nothing but an inconvenience to the “smart ones”.

Baxter Greene on February 4, 2009 at 4:25 PM

one would do it
use correct ammo .50 desert eagle


Sorry.My bad.

MDWNJ on February 4, 2009 at 4:34 PM

Can the Messiah be this dense? 1445 days to go…gonna be a long long “Administration,” that’s for sure.

coldwarrior on February 4, 2009 at 4:16 PM

Yes he can be this dense, and it is starting to show in scary stupid ways:(I posted this yesterday on another thread but thought it applied to Obama’s lack of leadership and intelligence in this area also.)

Obama not bowing to top brass, yet
By Gareth Porter

Obama’s decision to override Petraeus’s recommendation has not ended the conflict between the president and senior military officers over troop withdrawal, however. There are indications that Petraeus and his allies in the military and the Pentagon, including General Ray Odierno, now the top commander in Iraq, have already begun pressuring Obama to change his withdrawal policy.

A network of senior military officers is also reportedly preparing to support Petraeus and Odierno by mobilizing public opinion against Obama’s decision.

Petraeus was visibly unhappy when he left the Oval Office, according to one of the sources. A White House staffer present at the meeting was quoted by the source as saying, “Petraeus made the mistake of thinking he was still dealing with George Bush instead of with Barack Obama.“

Obama refusing to listen to the Generals and make decisions based on conditions on the ground are consistent with his idiotic stance on this in the Primary debates:

Hillary & Obama Don’t Care What Commanders Say, They are ‘Committed to Withdrawal’
Amy Proctor
April 17, 2008
(via Amy Proctor blog)

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama made it crystal clear at last night’s presidential debate that they will not listen to commanders on the ground in Iraq about the mission, although Obama conceded he would listen to “tactical advice” given only from missions he sets. How bipartisan. Hillary made it clear that “our commitment to withdrawal” would be the policy in a Clinton administration, despite the conditions on the ground.


So if the military commanders in Iraq came to you on day one and said this kind of withdrawal would destabilize Iraq, it would set back all of the gains that we have made, no matter what, you’re going to order those troops to come home?


Yes, I am, Charlie. And here’s why: You know, thankfully we have a system in our country of civilian control of the military. And our professional military are the best in the world. They give their best advice and then they execute the policies of the president. I have watched this president as he has continued to change the rationale and move the goalposts when it comes to Iraq.

And I am convinced that it is in America’s best interest, it is in the best interest of our military, and I even believe it is in the best interest of Iraq, that upon taking office, I will ask the secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and my security advisers to immediately put together for me a plan so that I can begin to withdraw within 60 days.


So you’d give the same rock-hard pledge, that no matter what the military commanders said, you would give the order: Bring them home


Because the commander in chief sets the mission, Charlie. That’s not the role of the generals. And one of the things that’s been interesting about the president’s approach lately has been to say, well, I’m just taking cues from General Petraeus.

Well, the president sets the mission. The general and our troops carry out that mission. And unfortunately we have had a bad mission, set by our civilian leadership, which our military has performed brilliantly. But it is time for us to set a strategy that is going to make the American people safer.

Now, I will always listen to our commanders on the ground with respect to tactics. Once I’ve given them a new mission, that we are going to proceed deliberately in an orderly fashion out of Iraq and we are going to have our combat troops out, we will not have permanent bases there, once I’ve provided that mission, if they come to me and want to adjust tactics, then I will certainly take their recommendations into consideration; but ultimately the buck stops with me as the commander in chief.

This is great military advice coming from the man who is on record as stating that if he knew then what he knows now about the success of the surge (which has won the Iraq war)he still would have voted against it.

Baxter Greene on February 4, 2009 at 4:36 PM

I’m sure The Chosen One will make them see the errors of their ways.

GarandFan on February 4, 2009 at 4:56 PM