Do Graham, McCain and Lieberman Want Obama to Take Back Yemeni Detainees?

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) sent a letter to President Obama today asking him to halt the transfer of six Guantanamo detainees to Yemen. The request, they say, is in light of the danger they’ve apparently just now realized Yemen poses, because Nigerian terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has said he was trained there.

The only problem: those six detainees have already been returned to Yemen.

According to a Department of Justice announcement on Dec. 20, six Yemeni detainees — Jamal Muhammad Alawi Mari, Farouq Ali Ahmed, Ayman Saeed Abdullah Batarfi, Muhammaed Yasir Ahmed Taher, Fayad Yahya Ahmed al Rami and Riyad Atiq Ali Abdu al Haf — were transferred to the government of Yemen more than ten days ago.

Still, the senators wrote today, in the wake of the Christmas Day averted disaster, “to express our deep concern” about the plans to transfer them. “Given the security situation in Yemen and the failure of the Yemeni government to secure high-value prisoners in the past, we believe that any such transfers would be highly unwise and ill-considered.”

In fact, concerns about terrorist activity in Yemen date back years, not just to last week. That’s why the Obama administration has stepped up its support for the Yemeni government’s attacks on terrorist targets there, and has refrained from sending Yemenis home until just recently. (President George W. Bush, on the other hand, sent 14 Yemenis home from Guantanamo during his tenure.) It’s interesting that these three senators are only now discovering the problem, and somehow didn’t know that the six men in question had already been sent home.

Update 6:30 pm: Graham’s office just responded with this explanation: “They’re trying to stop the transfer of a number of detainees back to Yemen until we are certain these detainees will not make their way back to the battlefield. Media reports have said there were at least 34 Yemeni detainees in the pipeline set to be sent back.”

But this still doesn’t explain the “six Yemeni detainees” referenced in the letter. I’ve asked Graham’s office for clarification. I’m also expecting confirmation shortly from the Justice Department. Stay tuned.

Comments

15 Comments

Tweets that mention Senators Want Obama to Take Back Yemeni Detainees? « The Washington Independent -- Topsy.com
Pingback posted December 29, 2009 @ 5:44 pm

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Frank Chow, WashIndependent. WashIndependent said: Senators Want Obama to Take Back Yemeni Detainees? http://bit.ly/8PKTSX [...]


marc
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 7:51 pm

Oddly the majority of Yemeni inmates held at Gitmo cannot be said to have been picked on a battlefield unless you count the planet Earth as a battlefield.


Senators Make Massive Security Slip In Letter to Obama
Pingback posted December 30, 2009 @ 9:58 am

[...] Knapp | Wednesday, December 30, 2009 Daphne Evitiar doesn’t seem to note anything unusual about this: Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain [...]


Ella
Comment posted December 30, 2009 @ 10:44 am

They're just the biggest poser retards on the planet, are they not?


MYMY
Comment posted December 30, 2009 @ 11:04 am

Bush sent back the 2 Al Quaida members involved in the thwarted plot of the underwear bomber.

These guys are so phony.


grf67
Comment posted December 30, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

Who could possibly care what liberman and the R's think?


Tempest
Comment posted December 30, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

Moe, Larry & Shemp! Yuk, yuk, yuk.


monkey99
Comment posted December 30, 2009 @ 12:52 pm

LOL! Things you can't un-see! Good one!


millgrist
Comment posted December 30, 2009 @ 1:06 pm

their letter is about politics, not about national security. otherwise we'd hear them press this issue at times other than when there's a news report about a terrorist attack that the Republicans seem anxious to exploit for political gain


Niall
Comment posted December 30, 2009 @ 5:16 pm

These idiots are falling all over each other to try to exploit an attempted terrorist incident that could have killed hundreds of people. Just goes to show how much they really care about terrorism in general or victims in particular….keep calling them out and don't let up….


Bo Martin
Comment posted January 2, 2010 @ 9:03 am

Winkem,Blinkem & Nod


Yemeni Official: It’s Our ‘Duty’ to Ask for Return of Detainees « freedetainees.org
Pingback posted January 4, 2010 @ 7:24 pm

[...] of the Yemenis’ situation at Guantanamo. Shortly after it was issued, TWI’s Daphne Eviatar noticed that its specific reference to “six Yemeni nationals” actually referred to six individuals whom [...]


same old same old
Comment posted January 17, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

The men who were allowed to return to Yemen were almost certainly NOT terrorists. That's why they were let go. There was no case against them. And they were held for 8 years.
I find it suspect that they are saying that ex-detainees are responsible for Al Queda's attacks. I think this is Dick Cheney talking, because he was aware of the detainees being returned. I doubt the U.S. has any clue what any of the ex-detainees are doing.


same old same old
Comment posted January 17, 2010 @ 7:51 pm

The men who were allowed to return to Yemen were almost certainly NOT terrorists. That's why they were let go. There was no case against them. And they were held for 8 years.
I find it suspect that they are saying that ex-detainees are responsible for Al Queda's attacks. I think this is Dick Cheney talking, because he was aware of the detainees being returned. I doubt the U.S. has any clue what any of the ex-detainees are doing.


Ex Back
Comment posted June 7, 2010 @ 11:14 am

well, It would be irresponsible to take any of the Yemeni detainees in … of our detainees, like every country would do


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