Obama Aide: Failed Underpants Bomber Won’t Stop Us From Closing Gitmo
Add insult to the self-inflicted injury of Sens. McCain, Lieberman and Graham, who yesterday urged President Obama not to repatriate Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo Bay who had already been repatriated. In a background briefing with reporters shortly after Obama’s remarks in Hawaii about would-be Northwest Airlines Flight 253 bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a senior administration official dismissed any chatter that the case would derail the closure of Guantanamo:
But we’re confident that any transfers that we’re making are being made not only consistent with our national security interests but also consistent with what we consider to be a fundamental national security interest in closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. …
We are, as I suggested, going through this with a fine-tooth comb. But I also just hasten to add the bigger picture here which is that we believe closing Gitmo is in the national security interest of the country for the reasons I’ve just outlined.
There are 99 problems with closing Guantanamo, but a would-be bomber isn’t one.