Just Watch the Right Distort Obama’s Guantanamo/al-Qaeda Remarks
President Obama, just now:
We will close Guantanamo prison, which has damaged our national security interests and has become a tremendous recruiting tool for al-Qaeda. In fact, that was an explicit rationale for the formation of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
My Twitterborne friends Eli Lake of The Washington Times and Michael Goldfarb of The Weekly Standard immediately made the inferential jump that, as Goldfarb wrote, “So al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Gitmo? Does anyone actually believe that?” But there’s a difference between saying that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claims Guantanamo as a rationale and saying that Guantanamo is the reason al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula exists. Just as there’s a difference between facts and the fact of al-Qaeda’s propaganda — which has to be interpreted by asking the question, “Why would this argument find currency among angry Muslims?”
sigh. Not that complicated. Gitmo doesn’t cause terror. It does increase Muslim populations’ sympathy for AQ… Propaganda against US. So closing it deprives AQ of a propaganda cudgel against us.
I expect other conservatives who are far more hackish than Lake and Goldfarb won’t appreciate the difference, though.