"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Monday, April 18, 2016

Obama sends nine Yemenis from Guantánamo to Saudi Arabia

A World Gone Mad

  • Terrorists are released with not even a trade for hostages held by the other side.

(Miami Herald)  -  Saudi Arabia on Saturday took in nine Yemeni detainees from Guantánamo, a breakthrough deal with the at-times stubborn oil kingdom that left 80 captives at the downsizing U.S. military detention center in Cuba.
Among those the U.S. Air Force delivered to Saudi Arabia was 5-foot-4-inch hunger striker Tariq Ba Odah, 38, who gained prominence by asking a federal judge to order his release after he shriveled to 74 pounds despite daily U.S. Navy medical tube feedings.
Cleared for years, Ba Odah, like the others released, could not go back to Yemen because of a White House policy that forbids repatriations to the poor, violent nation south of Saudi Arabia on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula.
But in a turnabout, the Saudi government agreed to take non-citizens from Guantánamo to its rehabilitation program set up to help Saudi jihadists transition back into society. All nine men have relatives living there, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the deal. In fact, four were born in Saudi Arabia to Yemeni parents.
The nine prisoners released this weekend got to Guantánamo in 2002. Several were cleared for release during the George W. Bush presidency. Not one was ever charged with a crime.
The transfer comes a week ahead of President Barack Obama’s trip to Saudi Arabia for a meeting with the leaders of Gulf Cooperation Council countries. With Saturday’s transfer, three GCC countries have taken in 34 Yemenis from Guantánamo for resettlement, answering an appeal from Obama, according to two U.S. government officials, during May’s GCC summit at Camp David. Twenty went to Oman and five to the United Arab Emirates. (More)

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