Closing Guantanamo

One of President Barack Obama’s first actions after being sworn in as president in January of 2009 was to sign an executive order directing the Central Intelligence Agency to shut down its network of secret prisons and ordering the closing of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp. This closure never happened, both because of Congress’s reluctance to release terrorists and their refusal to allow these detainees to be moved to facilities in the United States to face trial. Now, President Obama is pushing to get the prison closed in the final years of his second term. Since he cannot close the detention camp outright, he is instead emptying it by increasing the numbers of detainees being transferred and released.

On the surface level, it makes sense to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp. It is a prison operated by our government in a foreign country, costing in excess of $2.7 million per prisoner per year, while the cost of housing prisoners in American maximum security prisons is $80,000 per prisoner per year. However, most members of Congress, along with many Americans, are steadfastly opposed to transferring these detainees to American prisons to face trials. Since the president has not been able to bring the prisoners to America, he is instead sending them back to their home countries. Some of these prisoners are citizens of our allies and are being made to serve their sentences, but the vast majority is being sent back to Afghanistan, Iraq, and other Middle Eastern countries, where they almost immediately have the opportunity to rejoin the fight against America.

The prisoners being kept at Guantanamo Bay are all of the most dangerous terrorists captured by US military and intelligence services around the world. Hundreds of captured terrorists have already been released, with nearly a third of the released detainees either suspected or confirmed of reengaging in terrorism. Republican senator Kelly Ayotte was quoted in the Washington Post as saying, “When the administration transfers a Guantanamo detainee, especially those formerly assessed as a high or medium risk for reengagement in terrorism, the onus is on the administration to explain openly to the American people what has changed.” President Obama’s administration has not said anything to explain how the situation has changed, but these detainees are being released anyway.

With the goal of closing the detention camp, President Obama is pushing some of America’s deadliest enemies out the door. This basically turns the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp into the world’s most expensive rest and rehabilitation center and networking event for terrorists. This is clearly not a scenario that we, as patriotic Americans, can allow to continue. We need a comprehensive solution to the Guantanamo Bay problem, one that will spare the tax payers the enormous expense of housing detainees in this facility, but will also keep these terrorists safely confined so that they can no longer threaten American lives.

Our country’s current leadership is clearly either unable or unwilling to deal with this crisis. We need to completely overhaul our political system from the top to the bottom, starting with the executive. I am running for president in 2016 because I believe that my experience in industry and the military gives me an edge over the other candidates. I have spent my entire adult life dedicated to finding solutions to difficult problems, rather than passing the buck or childishly digging in my heels like our current leadership prefers to do. If you are a patriotic American who doesn’t like the direction our company is going and wants to see real leadership who will work to solve the tough issues, I urge you to join me by casting a write-in vote for Art Drew in the 2016 Presidential election.