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Obama Admin Hands Hezbollah Terrorist Over To Iraq, Instead Of Sending Him To Gitmo | Missouri Political News Service

Obama Admin Hands Hezbollah Terrorist Over To Iraq, Instead Of Sending Him To Gitmo

December 21st, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake reported on Saturday, “As it formally wrapped up war operations in Iraq, the Obama administration handed over terrorism suspect Ali Musa Daqduq to Baghdad’s government, dealing a blow to U.S. military and intelligence officials who wanted him tried by a U.S. tribunal on charges he plotted the killings of five American soldiers. The White House said Friday night it has tried to secure assurances from Iraq that Daqduq will be tried in that country for his role in the January 2007 killings, but U.S. intelligence fears he will eventually be released to Iran, where he has been linked to Hizbullah and the notorious Quds Force. . . . Daqduq was one of hundreds senior Shiite and al Qaeda suspects kept in detention centers on U.S. bases when Obama took office. But slowly, most of those prisoners were released. . . . One reason Daqduq could not be sent to the United States is that Obama had not allowed new detainees to be sent to the Guantánamo prison in Cuba. Intelligence officials are frustrated by the outcome. ‘This is one of many things we just dropped,’ one intelligence officer told The Daily Beast, predicting that some of those turned over by the U.S. in recent days will be released and ‘will go back to the Iranian terror machine.’”

Ranking Senate Armed Services Committee Republican Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Senate Homeland Security and Government Affair Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in a statement blasting the Obama administration’s decision. “It is disgraceful that Ali Musa Daqduq, a Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist believed to be responsible for the deaths of at least five U.S. servicemen in Iraq, will be handed over to the Iraqi government, rather than transferred to the custody of the United States to stand trial for his crimes in a military tribunal under the laws of war. Coming on the heels of the Administration’s failure to maintain a small American military presence in Iraq to support the fragile peace there, this failure to keep a committed murderer of Americans in U.S. custody sends exactly the wrong message to our allies and enemies in the region. The real test regarding Daqduq was not whether the United States should violate our security agreement with Iraq in order to maintain custody of him outside of the country. The real test was whether the United States could exercise our influence effectively with the Iraqi government to ensure that a committed killer of Americans would be held accountable for his crimes in the U.S. system of justice. The Administration has clearly failed that test. As a result, we are deeply concerned that Daqduq will never have to answer for his involvement in killing U.S. citizens, that he could be released from Iraqi custody for political reasons, and that he would then return to the fight against the United States and our friends.”

In a must-read editorial from Saturday, The Wall Street Journal writes, “The Administration also thought of bringing Daqduq to the U.S. for trial in federal court or a military tribunal. Both ideas would have meant taking political heat, but at a minimum it showed that the status-of-forces deal was not an insuperable obstacle to keeping Daqduq in U.S. custody provided the Administration was determined to do so.

“Alas, it wasn’t. The one place Daqduq unquestionably belongs is in the prison at Guantanamo, which also happens to be the one place the Administration wouldn’t countenance having him. By now, even Mr. Obama understands that Gitmo serves a vital role in housing terrorists who either can’t be safely released or easily tried. Daqduq, the most senior Hezbollah figure in U.S. custody and a man who conspicuously disdained the laws of war, fits that bill.

“But even if Mr. Obama can’t close Gitmo as he promised, neither can he bring himself openly to acknowledge its benefits. Leftist furies are more than he’s willing to face. Instead, the Administration has made the calculation that one more terrorist kingpin on the loose with American blood on his hands is an acceptable price to pay for not establishing the precedent that new prisoners may again be brought to Guantanamo.”



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