Freeing More Guantanamo Detainees Plays Into Al Qaeda's Hands

There's no reason to release any more detainees from terrorist-training nations.


By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Given what came out this past weekend about Guantanamo prisoners released by the Bush administration, I see no reason to release any more Guantanamo detainees who hail from or who have spent time in terrorist-training nations. President Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, made the rounds of the political Sunday talk shows and according to the Washington Post, called Guantanamo Bay "a propaganda tool for al Qaeda" and added that "532 Guantanamo detainees had been released by the Bush administration, including some who have subsequently appeared as senior officials in the al Qaeda organization in Yemen. He said Obama has released 42, including seven Yemenis sent home."

Yemen is quickly becoming al Qaeda nation of importance number three, after Afghanistan and Pakistan. We also learned recently that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian charged with bringing an explosive device onto a Christmas Day Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight, was trained in Yemen. The Post says:

Abdulmutallab, who the administration charges was trained for and tasked with the bombing mission by al Qaeda forces in Yemen, is being held in a federal facility in Milan, Mich. He is due to appear in federal court Friday.

This is not to say there aren't prisoners at Guantanamo who are being wrongfully detained. But since we've already made the mistake of releasing some Guantanamo inmates who should have remained in custody, why is there even any doubt we should err, if anything, on the side of detention over freedom?