This week he shipped 12 Yemenis and three Afghans to the United Arab Emirates, the largest release Obama has conducted so far, and includes former Usama bin Laden bodyguards and Al Qaeda bomb experts.
Another 19 are slated for transfer, which would bring the population to 42.
However, other countries are not willing to accept the worst of the worst held at Gitmo, which means Obama is still eyeing Colorado.
Even as the administration accelerates the transfers, it still faces the thorny problem of figuring out what to do with prisoners that cannot be sent to other countries. The Defense Department has looked at prisons in Colorado, South Carolina and elsewhere, but Congress by law prevents Pentagon from bringing any of those detainees to the United States.
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner said in a statement that this week’s release is especially troubling because so many of them return to the battlefield, and it coincides with a heightened instability in the Middle East and the rise of ISIS.
“Instead of capitalizing on partisan politics, I urge the Administration to prioritize the fight against ISIS and homegrown terror by developing a real strategy to keep Americans safe at home and abroad. I’ll continue to fight to ensure that the Guantanamo Bay detention facility remains open to keep the remainder of the prisoners, some of which have been deemed too dangerous to be released, off of U.S. soil and where they belong.”
This latest release is a desperate attempt to keep a campaign promise at any cost, and the cost of Obama’s catch and release program may be Colorado’s peace of mind and our national security.