Gates: Send Yemenis through the Saudi rehab program

posted at 5:05 pm on May 6, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Jake Tapper reports that the Obama administration continues to flail on its stated policy of closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Defense Secretary Robert Gates tried offering a solution to the most intractable problem, figuring out what to do with 97 Yemenis who represent the worst of the worst in terrorism.  His solution, though, won’t instill much confidence:

This morning in Riyadh, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he spoke to Saudi Assistant Minister of the Interior Muhammed bin Nayaf about sending the roughly 100 Yemeni detainees currently in the detainee center at Guantanamo Bay to Saudi Arabia to the Saudi government’s rehabilitation program for jihadis.

Gates said he spoke to Nayaf last night about “our positive impression of the repatriation program, the rehabilitation, repatriation program in Saudi Arabia. I think they’ve probably done as good if not better job of that than almost anybody and explored the possibility of some of the Yemeni detainees coming through that system. I think the notion would be if it worked at all it would be those with strong Saudi family connections or strong connections to Saudi Arabia.”

Bush tried the Saudi program, too, with actual Saudis rather than Yemenis.  It didn’t get very good results.  Even the sunny Saudi statistics put the success rate at less than 50% of their 3,000 inmates; only 1400 got released, and most haven’t returned to terrorism, at least as far as the Saudis know.  The rest are still in the facility, or are unaccounted for, at least with the numbers ABC quotes from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

It’s like deprogramming, conducted by Wahhabists.  What could go wrong?  Er, this:

Earlier this year the Saudi government published a list of 85 wanted terrorism suspects. Eleven of them had been prisoners at Guantanamo put through the Saudi rehabilitation program.

Said Ali al-Shihri, transferred to Saudi Arabia from Guantanamo during the Bush administration in 2007, currently deputy leader of al Qaeda’s Yemen branch.

The Bush administration also released Gitmo detainee Ghulam Rasoul into the Saudi rehabilitation program. Now known as Mullah Abdullah Zakir, he’s a leader against U.S. forces in southern Afghanistan, according to military and intelligence officials.

Where will we put them the next time we capture them?  And how many Americans will they kill in the meantime?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Isn’t that also called Al Qaeda’s Officer Training School?

hawksruleva on May 6, 2009 at 5:11 PM

I heard the University of Phoenix offers a 6 week course in Terrorist Rehabilitation. Yes We Can.

portlandon on May 6, 2009 at 5:11 PM

I have a solution, since nobody wants them. Hanging.

Vashta.Nerada on May 6, 2009 at 5:11 PM

Where will we put them the next time we capture them? And how many Americans will they kill in the meantime?

Such irrelevant, hate-filled, distracting questions!

Doesn’t matter. Don’t you know that Obama puts mustard on hamburgers?

catmman on May 6, 2009 at 5:12 PM

“What could go wrong? “

One of these days…………

………. a Leftist Liberal Democrat is going to get his head sawed off with a dull, rusty blade by one of these terrorists,

and maybe, right before the grim reaper snatches their soul,

……… they will finally get it.

Seven Percent Solution on May 6, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Is Gates like a Specter? I am sure he feels a strong duty to his country, but does he have strong principles? Can he feel that both Bush’s and Obama’s actions, which in many cases are contradictory, are good for the country?

He has to disagrees with one of them. He should not have taken the job with Bush, or resign from Obama due to irreconcileable differences.

WashJeff on May 6, 2009 at 5:19 PM

Isn’t this called rendition?

txag92 on May 6, 2009 at 5:26 PM

How about we stop ‘capturing’ them and just take care of all the problems at once with a little round piece of metal courtesy the US taxpayer when they’re spotted in *istan.

Kelligan on May 6, 2009 at 5:29 PM

The terrorists hate America because we have wronged them (colonialism, the founding or Israel, economic exploitation, etc). We should have empathy and try to understand the root causes of terrorism. This applies to all of America’s enemies but should never be applied to conservatives because they are evil. The one thing you should never do regarding terrorists is actually fight them because this will only increase their numbers exponentially. The best you can do empathize and accept the collateral damage.

I think that is the liberal view on combating terrorists. Any of the trolls want to correct me?

Shtetl G on May 6, 2009 at 5:31 PM

In every war for the past 300 years, out of uniform combatants who were captured were either shot on sight, or hung. I am not sure when we lost sight of this practical policy.

Vashta.Nerada on May 6, 2009 at 5:33 PM

Kelligan on May 6, 2009 at 5:29 PM

Beat me to it.

Les in NC on May 6, 2009 at 5:35 PM

Yeah lets send them back to “Soft Touch !

Saudi Arabia uses soft touch to ‘save’ former militants from extremism

The center is the polar opposite of Guantanamo, where harsh interrogation methods aim to break the will of detainees.

Instead, the Saudi authorities mother them with ample food, recreation and classes designed to persuade them that they may have had good intentions, but that they had made the wrong choice.

“Now I know the rules and regulations for jihad,” Hammami said. “First, it needs the consent of the government. Second, the consent of my parents.”

According to Abdel-Rahman al-Hadleq, the Interior Ministry’s director of ideological security, “the hard approach is not the only approach.”

Named after the assistant interior minister for security who launched it, the care center opened in early 2006, and Saudi officials are proud of the low recidivist rate among those released back into society.

The Guantanamo detainees get a taste of this immediately upon their arrival. They are hugged, kissed and well-fed. They meet Prince Mohammad himself one-on-one. Much of the first week home is spent with their families.

After some weeks, a center “beneficiary” receives multi-day leave of absence for family holidays, also paid for by the government. The family gets stipends too. In return, all are held responsible if he backtracks to militancy.

Hadleq said a primary goal is to get the ex-militant married, to saddle him with responsibilities that would prohibit time for politics. The graduates get money for dowries and homes to live in, and babies also get financial support.

After graduating, “you have to live in the area of your family and your tribe. It is strong social control,” said one security official.

William Amos on May 6, 2009 at 5:35 PM

You mean the one that produces terrorist leaders on the battlefield?

Those would be the ones alright! If I were in command of a military unit I’d give standing orders not to take prisoners…shoot em dead and let Allah (piss be upon him) sort them out!

Liberty or Death on May 6, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Won’t de-Islamize them

blatantblue on May 6, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Where will we put them the next time we capture them? And how many Americans will they kill in the meantime?

As I commented earlier:

If I were in command of a military unit I’d give standing orders not to take prisoners…shoot em dead and let Allah (piss be upon him) sort them out!

Liberty or Death on May 6, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Liberty or Death on May 6, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Has Gates lost his mind?

Turtler on May 6, 2009 at 5:41 PM

Send them anywhere but here. I don’t want my taxes giving them health care, homes, all us citizens pay for. These people are going to kill us at a heart beat, do it someplace else. Just look at the UK, they have gobs of these rop sucking off their people.
L

letget on May 6, 2009 at 5:44 PM

Has Gates lost his mind?

Turtler on May 6, 2009 at 5:41 PM

He has probably drunk deeply from the Obambi kool-aid cup, thus he is now an Obamabot, or he didn’t have a mind to lose in the first place, either way it’s not good for our nation’s security and the safety of our brave military men and women.

God help us all…we could use it!

Liberty or Death on May 6, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Even the sunny Saudi statistics put the success rate at less than 50% of their 3,000 inmates; only 1400 got released, and most haven’t returned to terrorism, at least as far as the Saudis know.

This is a highly successful program.

Using liberal math.

It’s like a tax cut.

Loxodonta on May 6, 2009 at 5:49 PM

Sigh…

And here I was hoping this was a euphamism for cutting their heads of with swords. (I thought the Saudi’s were fond of that solution).

Oh well.

Sackett on May 6, 2009 at 5:49 PM

It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of what Islam is.

blatantblue on May 6, 2009 at 5:50 PM

The Saudi Assistant Minister of Morals has agreed to take possession of the jihadists in the Swat valley.

moxie_neanderthal on May 6, 2009 at 6:03 PM

Be sure to check out that new CNN poll about waterboarding, etc. 50% of those polled said O’bama should not investigate Bush and his people, and 46% said he should. Considering that CNN normally refuses to divulge their polling methodology, this is a curious result.

Of course the comments from the CNN Kool-Aid drinkers are hilarious. Many of them would be extremely happy to have Chimpy taken out back and shot.

Del Dolemonte on May 6, 2009 at 6:17 PM

Is Gates calling his bluff surreptitiously? Looks that way to me.

Theworldisnotenough on May 6, 2009 at 6:27 PM

Shoot ‘em.

Never have another problem with ‘em.

profitsbeard on May 6, 2009 at 6:31 PM

hey, think of all the hearts and minds we’ll win.

cpr on May 6, 2009 at 6:47 PM

hey, think of all the hearts and minds we’ll win.

cpr on May 6, 2009 at 6:47 PM

The only Islamist jihadi hearts and minds I want to see would be intermixed with a large amount of gravel, dirt and shrapnel glistening in the moonlight.

The Saudi’s claim a 50% success rate? That leaves over a thousand former guests at Gitmo out there plying their trade. 50% is a failing grade where I come from. And Gates wants to reward failure? Emulate failure?

coldwarrior on May 6, 2009 at 6:55 PM

Send them to Iraq. I hear the US military operates some “rehabilitation” facilities there.

Kafir on May 6, 2009 at 6:55 PM

No wonder nObama kept Gates on, he is his soul mate!

dmann on May 6, 2009 at 8:16 PM

From an earlier story, why don’t we let them test out carbon-emission-free boats. Put ‘em on a boat from Plymouth to Greenland. Free airfare from Greenland to Afghanistan when the boat lands.

AZfederalist on May 6, 2009 at 10:28 PM

Defense Secretary Robert Gates tried offering a solution to the most intractable problem, figuring out what to do with 97 Yemenis who represent the worst of the worst in terrorism. His solution, though, won’t instill much confidence:

The proper solution would be to build a 12′ platform and buy 11′ of rope.

Paco on May 6, 2009 at 11:16 PM

How about we stop ‘capturing’ them and just take care of all the problems at once with a little round piece of metal courtesy the US taxpayer when they’re spotted in *istan.

Kelligan on May 6, 2009 at 5:29 PM

I’m sure that’s what’s happening now that the lib courts have given them habeas corpus. Heard of any newbies at Gitmo? Rich irony in that unintended consequence.

The only release the Gitmo crowd deserves is a 5.66mm one. After all, that’s what the Geneva Convention says…

2ipa on May 7, 2009 at 12:33 AM

Old news from February. Glad to see you’re catching up.

Debbie Schlussel on May 7, 2009 at 10:09 AM