Coalition Calls for President Obama to Keep Gitmo Open — and Keep Its Detainees Confined There
(Washington, D.C.): The Coalition for Security, Liberty and the Law – a group of military, intelligence, and security policy professionals with substantial national security experience – has sent a letter to President Obama urging him not to veto the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA) over restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States, and to instead let those restrictions stand.
The letter also notes that Guantanamo Bay is humane and uniquely secure, and that there is little evidence to suggest that the facility has played a significant role in the recruitment of terrorists to al Qaeda or affiliated organizations.
Signers of the letter (the full text of which can be found below)
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy, stated: “As President Obama has yet to withdraw from his misguided pledge to close the detention/interrogation facility at Guantanamo Bay, it is imperative that he hear from military and security experts who understand the risks to national security associated with keeping this pledge. The President should put national security before politics and allow the provisions of the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act prohibiting the transfer of Gitmo detainees into the United States to become law.”
About the Center for Security Policy
The Center for Security Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security and then ensures that such issues are the subject of both focused, principled examination and effective action by recognized policy experts, appropriate officials, opinion leaders, and the general public. For more information visit www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org.
Coalition for Security, Liberty and the Law
20 December, 2012
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As you are aware, the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2013 – the final text of which was agreed upon recently by House of Representatives and Senate Conferees, and will soon come to a vote before both bodies – contains a provision prohibiting the use of federal funds to transfer terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay to facilities inside the United States.
Our past experience as military, intelligence, and security policy professionals leads us to believe that the transfer of Guantanamo detainees into the United States would threaten national security and public safety. We therefore urge you not to veto the NDAA over this provision and instead allow it to stand.
Detainees transferred to U.S. prison facilities would turn those prisons – and nearby civilian populations – into terrorist targets. Based on past experience in Guantanamo, they would expose prison staff to unique threats, physical risks and legal liabilities. It is also likely that detainees, with help from counsel, would pressure prison officials to remove special security restrictions. If successful in such efforts, the detainees could have opportunities to radicalize the prison population – a risk previously noted by FBI Director Robert Mueller.
To the extent that detainees would receive criminal trials if transferred to the United States, such trials would entail granting due process and other rights that may force the government to choose between revealing classified evidence to secure a conviction in a U.S. court or dropping charges against dangerous terrorists.
Some have argued that Guantanamo remains a symbol of “torture”, and therefore a recruitment tool for terrorists that must be shut down. However, Guantanamo is not only a highly humane and – according to Attorney General Eric Holder – a “well-run, professional facility”, it is also uniquely secure in ways that cannot be replicated at detention facilities within the United States. Additionally, there is little evidence that Guantanamo has played a significant role in the recruitment of terrorists to al Qaeda or its affiliates.
For these reasons, we believe strongly that the detainees should not be transferred to any locale in the United States or its territories, and should instead be kept at Guantanamo Bay. The potential national and local security risks associated with transferring detainees to the United States greatly outweigh any perceived benefits for American foreign policy or national security if such closure were to take place.
Hon. Michael B. Mukasey, former Attorney General of the United States
R. James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence
Adm. Jerome L. Johnson, USN (Ret.)
Adm. James “Ace” Lyons, USN (Ret.)
Lt. Gen. E.G. “Buck” Shuler, Jr., USAF (Ret.)
Brig. Gen. William A. Bloomer, USMC (Ret.)
Brig. Gen. William Weise, USMC (Ret.)
Tidal McCoy, former Acting Secretary of the Air Force
Andrew C. McCarthy, former Chief Assistant United States Attorney
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., former Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy
Debra Burlingame, 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America
Elaine Donnelly, 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Services
Wealth is not Created at the Top: It is Only Devoured There
The UK has left the EU and we can argue about the minutiae of Wealth until we’re blue in the face. But the overriding factors are apparent and in one of the richest countries in the world it is shocking that so many people can’t even be sure if they are going to be able to eat enough today or provide for their loved ones.
These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurial-ism that are helping to advance the whole world – Opinion by Rutger Bregman
… across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top and so entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.
Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook … a new breed of rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry
In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.
To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our “human capital” in economic terms) to create something new, whether that’s a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth.
But there is also a second way to make money. That’s the rentier way: by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others’ expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.
But here comes the rub. Most rentiers are not as easily identified as the greedy banker or manager. Many are disguised. On the face of it, they look like industrious folks, because for part of the time they really are doing something worthwhile. Precisely that makes us overlook their massive rent-seeking…
The problems we face are that the politicians are firmly in the hands (pockets) of the uber wealthy. We live in a corporate plutocracy and those holding all the wealth and therefore power have no intention of changing the status quo, even if it isn’t sustainable. They remind me of bacteria (or cancer) devouring the host body more and more even though eventually it will kill them too.
Donald Trump Forgets Important Lesson From Grandad:
Harper’s Magazine reprints an interesting letter from US President Donald J. Trump’s own grandfather that may get you thinking. Here is it then:
The Emigrants – By Friedrich Trump – From a letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Trump had been ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete mandatory military service and to register his initial emigration to the United States twenty years earlier.
Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s request for repatriation; the family later settled in New York. Translated from the German by Austen Hinkley.
Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!
I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.
After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.
The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.
But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.
Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.
In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.
Your most humble and obedient,
… Well then. Long ago, yes.. Still applies? You tell me.
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