If it were not for the Wall Street Journal, the story might have passed unnoticed--the Mainstream Media certainly wasn't going to call attention to it. Last week, in one of its last acts, the Democratic-controlled Congress overwhelmingly voted to de-fund any effort to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay--the notorious "GITMO"-- and to ban any effort to move prisoners from there to the United States mainland.
Thus came the final vindication of the policy of the George W. Bush administration in establishing and maintaining GITMO, and the repudiation of President Obama's campaign promise and subsequent efforts to close the facility.
Of course, closing GITMO never made rational sense. Even if abuses of prisoners had occurred there--a very debatable proposition--the logical solution was never to close the prison, but rather to change its operational practices. GITMO opponents argued that the international reputation of the prison required its closure as a symbolic act of contrition on the part of the United States, part and parcel of the Obama policy of conducting foreign policy by apology. Apparently Congress was not persuaded that the diplomatic gains from such a public catharsis of liberal guilt justified closing a facility constructed at a cost of a half-billion dollars, and spending the amounts necessary to build equally secure prisons for captured terrorists on the U.S. mainland.
Beyond that however, the factual record has amply demonstrated that W. had it right the first time. As detailed by John Yoo and Robert Delahunty in their Wall Street Journal column, the intelligence community reported to Congress that over one-quarter of the prisoners released by Presidents Bush and Obama from GITMO in the past 8 years have returned to battle against the United States and the West. Over half of those 150 freed terrorists have since been killed or recaptured, but many of the released prisoners remaining at large have assumed leadership roles in Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other Islamist terrorist groups. Moreover, even an Obama administration task force found that of the 240 detainees at Guantanamo when President Obama took office, nearly all were leaders, fighters or organizers for jihadist groups, not the innocent drivers and shepherds caught up in the net of the U.S. and its allies, as left-wing advocates of the closure of GITMO would have one believe.
Perhaps someone from the Democratic leadership of the present Congress will give George W. Bush a call and apologize for the calumny directed at him regarding GITMO. Yeah, sure.