WH: Hey, we inherited this terrorist recidivism

posted at 12:15 pm on January 7, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Greg Sargent thinks that the Obama administration makes a great point in their response to criticism over plans to send Yemenis in Gitmo back to a nation that practices catch-and-release with terrorists, either by choice or by default.  The White House says that the terrorists that have gone back into AQ were all released by the Bush administration, which is undeniable, since the only ones released to Yemen have only just gone out the door:

One of the big stories of the morning — echoed widely by the news orgs and on the right — is that new government stats show that 20 percent of Gitmo detainees who have been released are thought to have returned to terrorist activity. The story is expected to complicate the politics of closing Gitmo.

But what if all those detainees were released under Bush, and not under Obama?

That’s the case that was made to me by a senior Obama administration official. He claimed that the administration doesn’t believe that any of the detainees released under Obama have returned to terror — because the Obama administration has a better screening process in place to determine which detainees pose a threat. …

To be sure, it’s hard to evaluate this claim. Much of the info involving these detainees remains classified. It might also be more compelling if the administration made it on the record. But it’s an angle on this story worth digging into. It could shed light on how much this recidivism story should actually matter when it comes to evaluating the Obama administration’s current approach.

Er, how much does it matter when Obama has determined to release all of the remaining Yemenis anyway?   The administration isn’t being choosy at all.  They only began releasing Yemenis a few weeks ago, and stopped after getting embarrassed when the EunuchBomber attack made the situation in Yemen impossible to dismiss.  Until then, though, the White House had insisted publicly that they would eventually turn over all of the Yemenis except any involved in chargeable “crimes” back to the nearly-failed state of Yemen.

The fact that the recidivism applies to Bush-era releases is both undeniable and irrelevant.  Obama has only been in office a year, and has only released a handful of Chinese Uighurs and the half-dozen Yemenis, along with a smattering of releases to Europe and Afghanistan.  They haven’t been out long enough to track.  It took a couple of years to see the terrorists claim their return to AQ operations.

The better question is whether the Obama administration will learn anything from the recidivism that we’ve confirmed (and the larger recidivism we should assume).  I’m willing to stipulate that Obama shouldn’t get blamed for the earlier recidivism if he takes the obvious lesson and stops releasing terrorists from Gitmo as a result of the new data.   If the administration thinks that the releases of those considered a safer bet in the early stages of emptying Gitmo means that releasing everyone else will get better results, then that certainly is an angle worth pursuing for media outlets — mainly for its insanity.


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jeanie on January 7, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Legal questions for “birthers:”

Would a clone be considered “natural born?”
Would the cloning have to take place in the US, or just the incubation?
Suppose the surrogate mother (assuming there is one) is not a US Citizen?

notropis on January 7, 2010 at 1:24 PM

See that big mistake Bush made? When I make it, it’s going to be way better.

Change!

Pablo on January 7, 2010 at 1:25 PM

*confirmed*

Obama’s grades from Columbia released

Blameshifting 101: B+

ted c on January 7, 2010 at 1:28 PM

This is so silly. Of COURSE it’s Bush’s fault. Why would this administration change ANYTHING its been saying? Talk about the perfect whipping boy! Sheesh… I long for the day we have a grown up in the White House again.

Mad Mad Monica on January 7, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Okay! Ethical and legal question here. If Obama has himself cloned(which I’m sure he would if he could), would he be considered a new person and not subject to the two terms rule?

jeanie on January 7, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Trick question. Since “cloned Obama” did not make/survive the required transit from the uterus to the outside world, person is not conveyed. Therefore, “Obama the Clone” would not be a person, as defined by “Obama the Clown”.

BobMbx on January 7, 2010 at 1:29 PM

I heard Rush Limbaugh say something about this, and he pointed out that Bush did not want to release these people, but had been pressured and leaned on and forced into action by the ACLU and the Democratic party who were all hot to close Gitmo and send these guys packing.

I remember back in the spring of 2008, the Bush administration said they wanted to slow the releases because some of these people were returning to the battlefield. I think the number was between 7 and 10%. So they backed off a lot of the releases they had planned.

But here we have the media and the Obama people who had done nothing but complain about keeping these people locked up, looking for a way to blame this all on Bush..again. That is all they know how to do.

Terrye on January 7, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Legal questions for “birthers:”

Would a clone be considered “natural born?”
Would the cloning have to take place in the US, or just the incubation?
Suppose the surrogate mother (assuming there is one) is not a US Citizen?

notropis on January 7, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Good questions… and should be Legislated prior to it becoming an issue…

But not ignored, as the Obama Dual Citizen at Birth question was…

Romeo13 on January 7, 2010 at 1:30 PM

“Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.” – Rahm Emanuel

.
Tediously, the Obamao administration continues to blame the Bush administration relentlessly when any difficulty arises, producing an observation of “the whiniest administration evah.”
.
When the Bush administration even observed and mentioned that the mild 2001 recession began in the Clinton administration, Billy Jeff angrily accused the Bush administration of “going straight to blame” rather than manning up with solutions.
.
Obamao and his lackeys seem unable to “man up” with solutions for problems that they volunteered to solve, especially economic problems, war on terror problems, health care insurance problems, and ethics problems.

ExpressoBold on January 7, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Trick question. Since “cloned Obama” did not make/survive the required transit from the uterus to the outside world, person is not conveyed. Therefore, “Obama the Clone” would not be a person, as defined by “Obama the Clown”.

BobMbx on January 7, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Actualy… under any clear definition… how can you consider a Clone as “Natural Born”? Clones are artificialy created and thus not Natural?

But its all an interesting question, for the future…

Hmmmm… wonder if you could make the arguement that someone born of Invitro Fertilization was not “Natural” by some definition…

Romeo13 on January 7, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Yemeni Cricket! Would somebody please tell the WH that there’s been a regime change? Let me be clear – Barack Obama is supposed to be President now!

KS Rex on January 7, 2010 at 1:34 PM

I am sooo sick of Obama and his freaking baby a$$ed crying over what he inherited!! If he didnt want to deal with this…then maybe he should not have run for Prez! He was in the Senate when they were released, right? one of those dems pushing for that place to close. Id like to know what his “screening process” is too.

Him and his administration need top grow up, start taking responsibility and quit being such babies! I suppose hes going to blame the 3 attacks under his watch to be Bush’s fault too.

becki51758 on January 7, 2010 at 1:35 PM

the website name…Who runs gov??? hahaha How funny that is!

becki51758 on January 7, 2010 at 1:37 PM

What we need here is a Tienaman(sp)Square or Iranian unrest or something of the sort in order to really and irrevocably embarrass this administration. We could all rampage over DC(except that I might be too old and not able to effectively rampage anymore)LOL. However, if they try to push amnesty this may cease to be a joke and become a reality.

jeanie on January 7, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Hmmmm… wonder if you could make the arguement that someone born of Invitro Fertilization was not “Natural” by some definition…

Romeo13 on January 7, 2010 at 1:33 PM

I think not. It’s still sperm + egg. I don’t think the sperm nor the egg care about being watched by the technician.

The better arguement is made not about the manner of birth, but the location of gestation.

BobMbx on January 7, 2010 at 1:41 PM

If the administration thinks that the releases of those considered a safer bet in the early stages of emptying Gitmo means that releasing everyone else will get better results, then that certainly is an angle worth pursuing for media outlets — mainly for its insanity.

Ding ding ding. It also can’t be stressed enough that to the extent that detainees were released from GITMO by Bush it was because of relentless pressure from Leftists/lawyers at places like Covington & Burling, Eric Holder’s law firm.

In short: Bush (unwisely) did what they demanded, and now they want to blame him for acceding to their demands.

Buy Danish on January 7, 2010 at 1:50 PM

I think not. It’s still sperm + egg. I don’t think the sperm nor the egg care about being watched by the technician.

The better arguement is made not about the manner of birth, but the location of gestation.

BobMbx on January 7, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Could be right… but wouldn’t it be smart to talk about these things BEFORE some guy gets elected to President, who has this particular issue?

One of the problems with our society is we tend to try to let courts react to situations, instead of legislating a situation first…

Its like the Emminent Domain decision in Kilo… the trend had been there for years and it would have been possible for Congress to create a law, which defined what emminent domain was, and how it could be used… instead of leaving it up to the Courts. Thus giving us a Political debate on how we want it… with Elected Officials making policy, instead of a Court which we do not have the power to hold responsible for its weird decisions…

Romeo13 on January 7, 2010 at 1:52 PM

WOW!,..can they get a new excuse for this sleeper cell administration?!

christene on January 7, 2010 at 2:25 PM

WOW!,..can they get a new excuse for this sleeper cell administration?!
christene on January 7, 2010 at 2:25 PM

One of the best comments ever.

PoodleSkirt on January 7, 2010 at 2:33 PM

I can’t wait until nominee Palin takes Obama over her knee and spanks him for acting like the bratty, spoiled and lying child that he is.

yogi41 on January 7, 2010 at 2:41 PM

mainly for its insanity.

Part of the epitaph of this administration…

petunia on January 7, 2010 at 2:51 PM

F the WH.

BushCheneyHalliburtonHilter were no longer in office when the CrotchBomber and Major Hasan struck.

There was no Gitmo before 9/11.

There were no Predator missile strikes on terrorist leadership in the ‘Stans before the Cole was bombed.

There were no troops occupying Iraq when the Khobar Towers and our African embassies were bombed.

There was no declaration of war on America by Al Qaeda when the WTC was bombed.

There were no troops in Saudi Arabia when the Marine Barracks in Lebanon were bombed.

jcrue on January 7, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Obama’s war on terror philosophy;
1. Blame it on Bush and his administration first.
2. Create new cliche’s for the war on terror, and ignore it as much as possible so it will just go away and not bother me.
This is the extraordinary mindset of your Commander in Chief!
Al Queda has been laughing so hard since he was elected, that they can’t shoot straight.

Cybergeezer on January 7, 2010 at 3:15 PM

With the success of “Blame Bush Program”, the GOP should use this line in their campaign making it the “Blame Obama Program”; Every successive administration can use this tactic to the extreme, thereby not having to actually perform any legislative duties. Looks like the new paradigm to me.

Cybergeezer on January 7, 2010 at 3:25 PM

One of the problems with our society is we tend to try to let courts react to situations, instead of legislating a situation first…

You mean upset the apple cart? How dare you!

Who do you think you are, trying to force our elected leaders to…uh……lead.

You must be a racist.

BobMbx on January 7, 2010 at 3:49 PM

jcrue on January 7, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Stop it. Using facts and logic just confuses liberals.

BobMbx on January 7, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Since when is the Bush Administration the Gold Standard to Dems? I am getting really tires of this “Bush did it too” like – I mean seriously, wasn’t Obama supposed to be better, smarter? Not to mention that Obama has the advantage of all the lessons [supposedly] learned over the last 8 years – like these follow up studies on the Gitmo alum recidivism.

holdfast on January 7, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Finger pointing is easy. Tackling tough problems like recidivist terrrorists is another…
ted c on January 7, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Nobody is forcing the One to take up the job, he wanted it, and he promised he woudl be ready on day 1.

Besides, all these problems (‘Bush Did It’) were made a thousand times harder due to the unforced errors made solely by Himself-ness.

Sir Napsalot on January 7, 2010 at 4:35 PM

We should just shut up and let Obama clean up Bush’s mess.

kringeesmom on January 7, 2010 at 12:20 PM

you mean like how he cleaned up unemployment, or the deficit, or afghanistan, or the auto industry?

Fighton03 on January 7, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Comment pages: 1 2