By Jim Kouri | Examiner
The scuttlebutt on Friday “Inside the Beltway” regarding Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel departure from the Obama administration has to do with his hesitancy to cave in to the President’s hasty timetable to close down the Guantanamo Bay military detention center (Gitmo) and transfer those prisoners to undisclosed locations. President Obama and his national security team — especially Susan Rice and Ben Rhoades — and Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s closest advisor, are pushing the Pentagon to transfer more detainees from Gitmo before the Republicans takeover the U.S. Senate, which gives the GOP more power to stop what they consider a dangerous endeavor by the Obama administration.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that, following five detainees released last week, there will be another round of “transfers” in December, but as usual officials would not give any details the identities or nationalities of the terrorists being released to other countries. Rep. Howard McKeon, R-California, the House Armed Services Committee’s chairman, during a hearing on the increase in notifications by the administration of transfers from the Gitmo detainment facility, blasted the administration’s haste in returning many of the detainees to the international jihad.
Counterterrorism, law enforcement and intelligence officials throughout the U.S. believe Obama’s closing of Gitmo is shortsighted and a complete disregard for the safety and security of military, diplomatic and other Americans serving and working overseas. “It’s a verified fact that about 30 percent of the detainees released have returned to the ‘battlefield’ or are involved in recruiting and training young, wannabe jihadists,” said former anti-terrorism task force member and police bomb squad technician Peter Perrosita.
When he took office in 2009, Obama promised his left-wing supporters that he would close the detention center, despite reports that refuted the left’s claims of prisoner abuse by U.S. military personnel assigned as guards at the detention center. However, the Republican lawmakers made it difficult for him to close the facility. When Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, attempted to transfer some of the suspected terrorists to locations within the United States, he was forced to back down when there was public outrage and lawmakers reminding him that the 2012 elections were not far off.
Defense Secretary Hagel was fiercely criticized by Obama minions who told the Wall Street Journal he was moving at a snail’s pace to “certify detainees for release.” “Senior officials at the White House are impatient as the president’s term in office draws nearer to its end with the promise of the closure of Guantanamo unfulfilled,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
As the new year approaches, the House and Senate members are looking into revising prisoner release regulations which would be part of this year’s defense authorization bill. The House had already debated restrictions after Obama secretly traded five top Taliban detainees, who were being detained at Gitmo, for the alleged U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who allegedly was abducted by Islamists after deserting his guard post.