Contact Your Legislators
The United States government and public is currently engaged in serious national security debates. Keep America Safe seeks to inform the public about the most pressing of these issues and influence our government’s policies by encouraging the public to speak out.
Contact your legislators today!
If you believe in what we are trying to accomplish, we encourage you to speak up and make these critical points to your local or national talk radio stations. Take action today!
I. Ensure that our CIA agents continue to keep America safe.
A. Seven former CIA directors believe a criminal investigation of CIA interrogations harms the Agency and agents.
B. CIA agents saved lives.
C. Justice Department prosecutors already closed the case.
II. Ensure the Guantanamo Bay Prison remains open and continues to keep America safe.
A. The Obama administration concedes Guantanamo is well-run.
B. Guantanamo houses some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world, including some of the men responsible for the September 11 attacks. We do not want to bring these mass murderers to American soil and give them the rights American citizens have died to protect.
C. America needs preventative detention facilities where our intelligence officials can have the opportunity to do their job and learn about the enemy.
D. A significant number of detainees released from Guantanamo have returned to terrorism.
E. The Obama administration’s self-imposed January 2010 deadline for shuttering Gitmo – just one year after President Obama took office – is unrealistic and inconsistent with ensuring America’s national security.
A. Recently, 7 Former CIA Directors recently penned a letter to President Obama urging him to use his power as President to reverse Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to re-open the criminal investigation of CIA interrogations that occurred after the September 11th attacks. These leaders suggest such an investigation would do significant harm to the Agency and inhibit the ability of officers to effectively do their jobs in the future.
B. CIA officers saved lives and should not be punished for doing their jobs. According to the May 2004 CIA Inspector General’s Report on Counterterrorism Detention and Interrogation Activities, “Agency senior managers believe that lives have been saved as a result of the capture and interrogation of terrorists who were planning attacks, in particular Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, Abu Zubaydah, Hambali and Al-Nashiri.” (CIA Inspector General’s Report on Counterterrorism Detention and Interrogation Activities, p. 88, May 7, 2004)
C. Attorney General Eric Holder is re-opening an investigation that has already been closed by career justice department prosecutors. These prosecutors investigated cases (less than 20) submitted to them by the CIA, wherein the CIA believed officers may have acted beyond their legal authority. Of these cases, only one according to the prosecutors acting under the supervision of the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, merited prosecution. These prosecutors determined ALL of the other cases did not warrant prosecution. These officers do not need to be investigated again.
1. The Obama administration concedes Guantanamo is well-run.
In February 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder visited Guantanamo. Upon returning, Mr. Holder said: “I was impressed by the people who are presently running the camp. I think the facilities there are good ones.” Mr. Holder conceded that the facility was “well-run now.”
In reality, Guantanamo has been well-run for years. But the Obama administration ordered the facility closed because, the president says, its very existence hurts America’s image. What the president has not apparently asked himself is: How did it get that way? During his first weeks in office, a human rights lawyer and a former detainee claimed that the “abuse” and “torture” at Gitmo had gotten worse since President Obama was sworn in.
The Obama administration, including Attorney General Holder, realizes this is a lie. As Reuters reported after Mr. Holder’s Guantanamo visit, “[Mr. Holder] told reporters…he saw nothing to support allegations by a human rights lawyer that abuses by guards had increased since President Barack Obama’s inauguration in January.”
This should have clued the Obama administration in on a fundamental truth. Much of what has been written and said about Guantanamo is not true.
President Obama should have defended the reputations of the men and women who are charged with detaining some of the most dangerous men in the world.
2. Guantanamo houses some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world, including some of the men responsible for the September 11 attacks. We do not want to bring these mass murderers to American soil and give them the rights American citizens have died to protect.
Terrorists such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the mastermind of September 11, and Ramzi Binalshibh, the principal point man for al Qaeda’s September 11 attacks, are detained at Guantanamo. These are just two of the more infamous terrorists held there. Dozens of others have either participated in terrorist attacks against America and her allies, or fought alongside the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Still others were trained to commit acts of terrorism but never got their chance to go through with their heinous acts.
In short, the terrorists detained at Gitmo are responsible for murdering thousands of civilians, American and otherwise, around the globe. They have waged an unrelenting jihad against civilization and would have gladly murdered thousands more if given the chance.
There is no reason to bring these terrorists to American soil, which is one of the possibilities being considered by the Obama administration. They are incapable of doing any further harm (beyond spreading lies that tarnish America’s image) while held at Gitmo. They cannot escape from Gitmo’s remote facilities, which are also difficult for al Qaeda to reach. Al Qaeda and its allies have repeatedly attacked detention facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq, and have stated their intention to strike Guantanamo in a symbolic attempt to free their compatriots as well. But Guantanamo is unreachable.
There is no reason these terrorists should be granted the right to live on American soil – even in maximum security prisons. Such facilities, while undoubtedly difficult to escape from or strike, are designed to house American citizens who have broken our agreed upon laws. The Gitmo terrorists are not American citizens and they seek to undermine our entire way of life –including our legal system.
Bringing Gitmo terrorists into America would be a major step towards giving them additional access to our legal system. For example, consider what would happen if known Gitmo terrorists are tried and acquitted by American courts, for whatever reason. Will they then be freed onto American soil because the government can no longer legally hold them?
Closing Gitmo means the Obama administration will have to house the detainees somewhere, but bringing them to America is a bad idea.
3. America needs preventative detention facilities where our intelligence officials can have the opportunity to do their job and learn about the enemy.
Intelligence is vital in this long war against al Qaeda and its allies. Facilities such as Guantanamo are not just designed to prevent known and suspected terrorists from committing additional acts of terror. The existence of Gitmo allows our intelligence officials to have the opportunity to question detainees and learn more about al Qaeda’s plotting against America and the civilized world.
There is a good reason that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, upon being captured in 2003, reportedly said, “I’ll talk to you guys after I get to New York and see my lawyer.” As former CIA Director George Tenet has explained, KSM would have undoubtedly given up far less valuable intelligence if he were read his Miranda rights and given “a lawyer who surely would have insisted that his client simply shut up.”
KSM knew that his best bet for protecting al Qaeda’s secrets was to be treated like any other common criminal. But America cannot afford to grant terrorists such as KSM this right. As we learned after September 11, America had very little firsthand intelligence about al Qaeda. Many of the gaps in the government’s knowledge were filled in by questioning top terrorists such as KSM. In fact, KSM had sleeper agents here on American soil at the time of his capture. He undoubtedly wanted to protect their identities. Instead, under harsh questioning, he divulged them.
While KSM was interrogated at other sites, many others have been questioned at Gitmo. The intelligence they have given up has been vital. America still needs a preventative detention facility where terrorists are not granted the same rights as American citizens. Gitmo is as good a place as any.
4. A significant number of detainees released from Guantanamo have returned to terrorism.
In April of 2009, the Defense Department produced a report saying that 1 out of every 7 former Gitmo detainees had likely returned to terrorism. The DOD said there were 74 former detainees who were either confirmed or suspected of having rejoined al Qaeda and our terrorist enemies. Just a few months earlier, in January of 2009, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said that the number of Gitmo recidivists was 61. And just several months prior to that, in June of 2008, the Defense Department said that 37 former detainees were “confirmed or suspected” of returning to terrorism.
Clearly, every month the DOD is finding that more and more former Gitmo detainees who have returned to terrorism – at an alarming rate. Some notable examples of recidivism include Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul (aka Mullah Abdullah Zakir), who was freed from Gitmo in December 2007 and by early 2009 had assumed the role of Taliban commander in Southern Afghanistan, and Abdullah Ajmi, a known extremist ideologue who was freed from Gitmo and ended up blowing himself up in Mosul, Iraq. Al Ajmi’s suicide bombing killed 13 Iraqi security officials and wounded dozens more.
The Obama administration should learn the lessons of the past. Even a good number of detainees that the DOD thought it could safely release have turned out to be serious threats. Many of those remaining at Gitmo are considered to be more dangerous than those already released. As the Obama administration itself recognizes, it is going to have to continue to detain a significant number of terrorists going forward.
Keeping them at Gitmo is the safest and easiest solution.
5. The Obama administration’s self-imposed January 2010 deadline for shuttering Gitmo – just one year after President Obama took office – is unrealistic and inconsistent with ensuring America’s national security.
Before anyone in his administration had even reviewed the files of all the detainees at Gitmo, President Obama set an arbitrary deadline of one year from his first days in office to close the facility. The Obama administration has now learned that closing Gitmo is much more difficult than the President and his advisors apparently thought. Defense Secretary Gates recently conceded that “it’s going to be tough” for the administration to meet the January 2010 deadline, and “it’s going to take a little longer” than previously promised.
As of late September of 2009, the Obama administration had not even completed its initial review of the files on the detainees yet. As the Washington Post reported on September 25, 2009, “In coming weeks, [Obama administration] officials say, they expect to complete the initial review of all the files of those held at Guantanamo Bay.”
Given that the Obama administration’s initial review, let alone comprehensive review, of the files has not yet been completed, it would be wise for the president to at least push back his arbitrary deadline. Indeed, there is no reason to close Gitmo at all. As the Obama administration is undoubtedly learning as it investigates who the detainees at Gitmo are, there are many terrorists who mean to do us harm imprisoned there.
The best place to keep them is Gitmo.