I wrote a post in late December titled “Obama: If I can’t close Gitmo, then I’ll just make sure it’s empty before I leave office.” The main point was that playing politics with national security will literally blow up in our faces. Even if President Obama closes the detention facility, the function it serves is still necessary. Jihadis around the globe are determined to attack Americans and our interests. A rational man would not try to empty out a facility filled with terrorists just to keep a quixotic campaign promise. Mr. Obama, however, is not a rational man.
CNN reported Jan. 29:
Washington (CNN)The U.S. military and intelligence community now suspect that one of the five Taliban detainees released from Guantanamo Bay in return for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in May of last year has attempted to return to militant activity from his current location in Qatar by making contact with suspected Taliban associates in Afghanistan, multiple officials tell CNN.
The development has led to an ongoing debate inside the administration about whether there is a new threat from this man, and potentially the other four.
This is the first known suggestion that any of the detainees involved in the exchange may be trying to engage again in militant activity. It comes at a politically sensitive time as the administration has quickened the pace of prisoner release in an effort to encourage the closure of the Guantanamo, and the Army must decide in the coming weeks whether and how to punish Bergdahl for leaving his post.
In case you forgot who we’re dealing with, CBS gave a nice overview May 31, 2014 (emphasis added):
Khairullah Khairkhwa is the most senior ex-Guantanamo prisoner who comes from “the fraternity of original Taliban who launched the movement in 1994,” according the Afghanistan Analysts Network. He surrendered to President Hamid Karzai’s brother just before he was captured in January 2002. His most prominent position was as governor of Herat Province from 1999 to 2001. He served in various Taliban positions including interior minister and had direct ties to Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden.
Mullah Norullah Noori served as governor of Balkh Province in the Taliban regime and played some role in coordinating the fight against the Northern Alliance. He was a senior Taliban commander in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif when the Taliban fought U.S. forces in late 2001.
Mohammad Fazl commanded the main force fighting the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in 2001 and served as chief of army staff under the Taliban regime. Human Rights Watch says he could be prosecuted for war crimes for presiding over the mass killing of Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001 as the Taliban sought to consolidate their control over the country. Fazl joined the Taliban early, never held a civilian post, and rose through the ranks because of his fighting ability, ending up up as one of their most important and feared military commanders, according to the Afghanistan Analysts Network.
Abdul Haq Wasiq was the deputy chief of the Taliban regime’s intelligence service and the cousin of the head of the service, Qari Ahmadullah, who was among the Taliban’s founding members, according to the Afghanistan Analysts Network.
Mohammed Nabi was a Taliban official in Khost Province. He served as chief of security for the Taliban in Qalat, Afghanistan, and later worked as a radio operator for the Taliban’s communications office in Kabul.
Mr. Obama can hem and haw all day long about closing Gitmo, but the fact remains: members of al Qaeda, the Islamic State group, the Taliban, and a whole host of other Islamic radicals are keen to find a way to kill Americans. The president seems to think that dropping giant bombs on a man is more humane than holding him in a detention facility and interrogating him for information in between prayer time, three square meals, and the afternoon soccer game in the quad. Some of us think that’s rather strange, but so be it. The fact also remains that without human intelligence, it is mighty difficult to glean information that can save lives; dead men tell no tales.
The president’s all-out rush to empty Guantanamo Bay detention center, Cuba before he leaves office is jaw-dropping, and it will put American lives needlessly at risk. The sad thing is, by the time the real damage is done, he’ll be long out of office, working on his fourth autobiography, and pulling in $100,000 on the Democratic Party speaking circuit. A future president will be too big of a man to single out Mr. Obama, and as a result the architect of disaster will escape the appropriate scorn and ridicule that he is due.