The REAL terrorist recruitment tool, the American LEFT and PRESS!

Guantanamo and the question of terrorist recruitment
By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent

In the next few days, you're going to see an increasingly intense debate on the question of whether the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay is a major factor in terrorist recruitment. In that debate, you're going to hear a name you might not have heard, Matthew Alexander. And you're going to learn that what you've been told about Guantanamo and terrorist recruitment is not the whole story.

In his speech on Thursday, President Obama gave two reasons for his decision to shut down Guantanamo. The first was that it has lowered American standing in the world, and the second was that it is a recruitment tool for terrorists. "Guantanamo became a symbol that helped al-Qaeda recruit terrorists to its cause," the president said. "Indeed, the existence of Guantanamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained." While Obama certainly views America's standing in the world as important, it is the charge that Guantanamo is a terrorist recruitment tool that is the real foundation of the decision to shut the detention center down. Absent that allegation, it is unlikely that Guantanamo would be slated for closing.
This is the question I have been asking myself. My conclusion without any research needed is that terrorists will use anything and/or manufacture stories in order to make excuses and recruit.

OH YEAH, outside of preventing plots...since when do we trust a terrorists word?
But where does the charge come from? Much, although not all, of it comes from one person. On "Meet the Press" Sunday, when Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin was asked for evidence to support his claim that Guantanamo has been a terrorist-recruitment tool, Durbin answered: "Major Matthew Alexander, who interrogated the al-Qaeda suspects in Iraq. And it was his conclusion that half of them had been recruited and were fighting, trying to kill Americans because of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo." Alexander was the only authority Durbin cited.

In the Post op-ed, Alexander wrote, "I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo…It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse."
So let me get this right we have got the Executive and Senators getting their intel from anonymous op-ed pieces? What the fuck is going on? Who next? Can I expect to see Speaker Pelosi on Meet the Press this weekend citing Seymour Hersh as clear evidence to make drastic changes to our National Security policy?
Alexander told me that when he interrogated foreigners who came to Iraq to fight Americans, the reason they most often gave for joining the battle was their outrage over abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Tales, and in the case of Abu Ghraib, photos from the two prisons deeply affected the fighters, Alexander explained. "Very high-ranking members of al Qaeda told me they didn't really believe in suicide bombing, but we left them with no choice," he said.
UMMM. "We left them no choice." WTF? That is about the most clear cut case of "blame America first" I have ever seen.
Of course, the most spectacular allegation of abuse of the Koran was a May 2005 story in Newsweek, which alleged that U.S. operatives had flushed a Koran down a toilet in Guantanamo as part of an effort to intimidate prisoners. The report was based on a single anonymous source, and Newsweek later retracted it and apologized. But the report was absolutely explosive, sparking riots around the world. It would be hard to deny that the Newsweek report had a more detrimental effect on Muslim opinion about Guantanamo than any inspector general's report.

So if Guantanamo must be closed because it is a symbol of America's abuse of Muslim detainees, and if the example of abuse in Guantanamo that most outraged Muslims worldwide was a story of alleged mistreatment of the Koran, and if that story was later retracted, then are we going through the enormous effort to close Guantanamo because of a bad story in Newsweek? The situation is more complicated than that, but the fact is, that's part of it.
While I did quote much of the article here, I did not quote all of it so please follow the link at the top to read the entire piece. In addition, a follow up piece by York:
The anonymous accuser of Guantanamo