Is The ‘Left’ To Blame For The Release Of Gitmo Prisoners?

July 28, 2007

Another night, another heated debate on LGF.  You know, one where it’s me vs. the entire Lizardoid Army.  So, as promised, I’m posting a thread here to continue the discussion (threads on LGF tend to move a lot faster).  Anyway, here’s the LGF post:
Good work, lefties. How many people have died because of your bleeding-heart crusade to get the jihadis at Guantanamo released? Freed Guantanamo inmates take up arms.

AT LEAST 30 former Guantanamo Bay detainees have been killed or recaptured after taking up arms against allied forces following their release.

They have been discovered mostly in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but not in Iraq, a US Defence Department spokesman told The Age yesterday.

Commander Jeffrey Gordon said the detainees had, while in custody, falsely claimed to be farmers, truck drivers, cooks, small-arms merchants, low-level combatants or had offered other false explanations for being in Afghanistan.

“We are aware of dozens of cases where they have returned to militant activities, participated in anti-US propaganda or engaged in other activities,” said Commander Gordon.

Thirty dedicated mujahideen can kill a lot of people.
After an intense firefight that started with this statement:

I suppose if you think hard enough you could find a way to blame the left for just about anything.

I finally left my concluding statement on comment #351:

Look, either you can blame the ‘left’ for the release of the scumbags or you can’t. So ask yourself: Who made the decision to release them? It seems pretty simple to me. The whole idea of Gitmo was it’s there because it can operate outside of US laws. It’s Bush’s baby, and if he wanted to shut it down tomorrow he could. So, to me, blaming the ‘left’ for something that ultimately the military or the DOD or whoever decided to do is ridiculous. Bush hasn’t given much of an inch to the left on Gitmo, unless his hand was forced (like the aforementioned SCOTUS ruling), and that was only to change their status, not to release anyone.

But I doubt Charles will change his post no matter what I say, so for tonight I’m done. Maybe I’ll start a thread on my blog and we can continue the discussion there and you can prove me wrong.

So am I wrong? 

Update:  LGF isn’t the only one making “blood on your hands” accusations.  Here’s the technorati link to follow this story.  Keep in mind that the article makes little mention as to why these guys were released (beyond fooling US officials), so I guess the assumption is that leftist mind rays sprung them loose. 

So, lets see if we can do some fact-checking, shall we?  According to the DoD:

There are ongoing processes to review the status of detainees.  A determination about the continued detention or transfer of a detainee is based on the best information and evidence available at the time.  The circumstances in which detainees are apprehended can be ambiguous, and many of the detainees are highly skilled in concealing the truth.

Interesting.  Wait, there’s more:

The investigators said that some criminal suspects against whom they had good evidence have been among the 340 detainees released, because they were citizens of Great Britain or other cooperating countries who made diplomatic deals with the United States. Citizens of some 40 nations are still at Guantanamo.

Yep.  Lefties fault. Blood on hands.  Damn those mind rays!

Anyway, that would be 30 out of 340 (as of last year) have been confirmed to have returned to the battlefield.  Less than 10%.  Of course, it would be preferable if we were able to be omnipotent enough to determine who the bad guys are and who are just farmers (or something) 100% of the time, but nothing is perfect. 

Update:  Michelle Malkin, to her credit, gives a much more objective and less vitriolic assessment of the article, although she still managed to take a swipe at the Dems in closing.

Update:  Newshoggers looks at the story another way, and points out that 90% of those released appear to be peaceful (as well as shooting holes in “the left is to blame” argument).  Oh well, here’s Wizbang.  Lefties again.


  1. I’m to the Right (no way !)but No it’s not the Lefts fault. I think the saner on my side of the aisle would appreciate that the Left admit there is obviously dangerous people imprisoned at Gitmo though.BTW your last statement is a very good one. The whole post was good it’s just the last bit worked for me. Take care

  2. Those of us on the left, human rights groups and certain Democrats have urged Bush to apply Geneva convention protections, due process, and interrogations free of torture to the gitmo detainees, but I have yet to see any of those people insist that dangerous inmates simply be ‘cut loose’. Sure, the ACLU and others may wish to represent some of them, but the exercise in trying to prove their innocence is part of the legal process (just like here at home). People may want to blame a killer’s lawyer for his role in allowing that person to go free, but ultimately it was the system that failed.

    The 30 jihadis that this article mentioned were out there because either a) they managed to fool their captors or b) they were transfered to another country and released for reason (a) or some other factor, or c) some other flaw in the system. A system that appears to be under the control of the US military or the DoD.

  3. Really? Human rights groups are just advocating for Geneva?


    And to think that leftist advocacy can’t influence government policy is a huge disservice to your leftist forefathers and mothers who were out protesting before you were a twinkle in your daddy’s eye. Ever hear of Vietnam? They’re proud of that work. Sure the DoD let these inmates go. But why do you think they felt the need to do so? No need to answer, Chen. Just think about it.

    I think your other little thread is rude to a gracious host, and I’d remind you that respect is a two way street.

  4. Let’s look at this another way Sharm. Certainly there are a few people at Gitmo that were released by the DOD because it was believed that they were perfectly innocent, and it turned out that they were right. So, if the “left” is trying to release all the prisioners, as Charles asserts, then is the “right” trying to keep them all there, guilty or not?

    Are you guys advocating the release of no one, unconditionally? And if not, are you going to blame the “left” when they’re wrong?

    I think your other little thread is rude to a gracious host, and I’d remind you that respect is a two way street.

    Which thread?

    And rude? It’s not like I called him dumb or insane or anything.

  5. Way to move the goal post Chen.

    “And rude? It’s not like I called him dumb or insane or anything.”

    Well then- that makes it okay. (eyes rolling)

  6. “And rude? It’s not like I called him dumb or insane or anything.”

    Come on. What are you, a five year old? Seriously.

  7. Chen is at least saner and more polite than the whole lot of you put together. Think about that.

  8. Well then- that makes it okay. (eyes rolling)

    Again, which thread?

    And how did I move the goal posts? I’d like to think that the notion that innocent people should be released from Gitmo isn’t a right or left issue. It’s a right and wrong issue. Clearly, the DoD has released many based on the belief that they weren’t a threat.

    One more time….”I suppose if you think hard enough you could find a way to blame the left for just about anything.”

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