It began many years ago. Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama making a campaign promise to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GITMO) – a facility that houses the worst of the worst – radical jihadists intent on destroying America.
It’s been something he has been fixated on since his presidency began more than seven years ago. Now, with just months before he leaves office, President Obama is making one final push to close GITMO – submitting a plan to Congress that puts America at risk – a plan that ultimately would call for the transfer of some of the most dangerous terrorists to the United States – putting these barbaric terrorists on U.S. soil.
We have repeatedly detailed the disastrous impact of President Obama’s political ploy to close GITMO – as he released ten more battle-hardened terrorists just last month – as jihadist after jihadist returns to the battlefield to kill again.
The security threats are escalated by the astounding recidivism rate of released GITMO terrorists. Of the dozens of lower level terrorist detainees already released, 1 in 3 of these jihadist terrorists have ended up back on the battlefield.
Even as President Obama was unveiling his troubling plan to release terrorists and close GITMO, there were reports that yet another GITMO terrorist returned to the battlefield. A former detainee has been apprehended in Spain – part of a plot by a jihadi cell to recruit terrorists for ISIS – the Islamic State.
President Obama’s action today underscores the blatant political nature of this President during his two terms in office.
Closing GITMO not only places America in grave danger, it bootstraps the next president – continuing a foreign policy that is dangerous to America – a foreign policy that makes it even more difficult to succeed in the War on Terror.
The president says he’s submitting his plan to Congress urging lawmakers to approve. He will meet stiff opposition and he should.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will review the President’s plan but said that the Senate has acted “over and over and over again in a bipartisan way” against the proposal and that they would continue to stand firmly against it.
We have been aggressively challenging President Obama’s plan to close GITMO for years and have heard from nearly 90,000 Americans who oppose the continued release of deadly terrorists who are committed to destroying America.
We will continue working in Congress to ensure that America is protected, that this vital detention facility continues to house jihadist enemy combatants in the War on Terror, and that the Constitution is defended.
If defeated in Congress, we should expect President Obama to flex his Executive overreach muscles again – grabbing the phone and pen – and putting in place an unconstitutional Executive order to close GITMO without Congressional approval.
He’s bypassed Congress before. And now with President Obama putting his own politically motivated desires ahead of our national security, it could happen again. Remember – this is about President Obama and his legacy – nothing else.
As the Senate Majority Leader correctly concluded: “President Obama seems to remain captured on one matter by a campaign promise he made way back in 2008. . . His ill-considered crusade to close the secure detention facility at Guantanamo.”
It’s tragic that President Obama is more interested in his legacy and fulfilling a flawed campaign promise than taking the appropriate actions to safeguard the homeland and eliminate radical jihadists.
Tragic – but not surprising.
Jay Sekulow is Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which focuses on constitutional law. He also serves as a member of President Trump’s legal team. Follow him on Twitter @JaySekulow.