January 3rd, 2010
10:52 AM ET
4 years ago

Brennan: Some Guantanamo detainees will go to Yemen

John Brennan, an adviser to the president on counter-terrorism, said the Obama administration still intends to send some Guantanamo detainees back to Yemen despite a terrorist threat there.
John Brennan, an adviser to the president on counter-terrorism, said the Obama administration still intends to send some Guantanamo detainees back to Yemen despite a terrorist threat there.

Washington (CNN) - The United States still intends to send some Yemeni detainees at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, facility back to Yemen despite a terrorist threat there, President Barack Obama's terrorism czar said Sunday.

John Brennan, the assistant to the president for homeland security and counter-terrorism, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that the failed Christmas Day terror attack on a U.S. airliner doesn't change the plan to close the Guantanamo facility.

On Saturday, Obama linked the airline bombing suspect to an al Qaeda affiliate based in Yemen.

Brennan called the failed attack on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Detroit, Michigan a "unique incident" that won't affect the process of closing the Guantanamo facility.

"We are making sure that we don't do anything that's going to put Americans at risk," Brennan said.

About half of the roughly 200 detainees still held at Guantanamo Bay would be prosecuted in the United States by federal courts or military tribunals. Some would be sent to third countries, including Yemenis returned to their home nation, Brennan said.

The United States is working with the Yemeni government to make sure "the situation on the ground is taken into account," Brennan said.

"We're going to do this the right way at the right time," he said.

Closing the Guantanamo facility is necessary because al Qaeda and others have used it as a propaganda tool against the United States, Brennan said.

Most congressional Republicans oppose closing the Guantanamo facility, and some Democrats and independents said Sunday that no detainees should be sent to Yemen due to the terrorist network operating there.

"It would be irresponsible to take any of the Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo and send them back to Yemen," Sen. Joseph Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut who belongs to the Democratic caucus, said on the ABC program "This Week."

Updated: 10:52 a.m.

soundoff (179 Responses)
  1. Jim

    Lord Jesus Christ taught about sharing with them the good news of finding live and peace and joy by the Holy Spirit freely just by asking.

    Words of Lord Jesus Christ have power to transform....

    January 3, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    I liked my Idea the best that i had a year ago put all the detainees aboard a C-130 transport and then crash it into Osamas mountain.

    January 3, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. Terry from West Texas

    Every Conservative politician and most Conservative Americans wake up in the morning thinking, "Today is another day to criticize the Obama Administration. No matter what he does today, I must find a way to criticize it. I am a Conservative."

    How many Americans have been killed by terrorists in America in 2009? Zero. 2008? Zero. 2007? Zero. How many cars have been keyed by terrorists in America? Zero.

    How many Americans have been shot and killed by other Americans in bar fights, in domestic disputes, in gang wars, etc.? 14,000

    How many Americans have been raped? 89,000

    How many Americans died from the inefficiencies of our health care delivery system? 45,000

    This is not World War II. Terrorism is more like organized crime than it is like a military organizaion. We have much bigger problems. Much much bigger.

    January 3, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. VON BISMARK -Vienna

    Like it or not: The hard fact is that the incaceration has made more terrorrists than expected.Very few people will resist thinking of revenvenge after being held for no good reason except that Bush said they should!

    January 3, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Javier

    “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment, for fear of your own safety. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

    To show compassion is a great strength, unfortunately this is a truth lost on the simple minded.

    January 3, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Enough

    Stop making comments that divide our country. That is exactly what
    al-Qaeda is trying to do, divide and conquer.

    January 3, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. petey

    If one more American citizen dies during either an "isolated incident" or a terrorist attack could the Federal Government or specific Federal agencies be held criminally negligent? Isn't it reasonable to assume they should know how dangerous their behavior is to the American public? At what point do their actions become a violation of our human rights? This government is simply not concerned with protecting it's people, which is a basic function of any government.

    January 3, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. Russ H

    I see our idiotic Government is at it again. Please God, give some brains to our so called government. Let's start by impeaching Obama, Reid and Pelosi. Then maybe we can get something done

    January 3, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  9. Ramses

    I do not understand why we are releasing terror suspects from Guantanamo back to the middle east unless we have a plan to use them as informers. This ain't going to work. They will go back & will be involved with terrorism again & again. They are a danger not only to the US but also to the local legitamate Govt & the world. The jihadi's are only interested in disruption of the balance. They never grow up.

    January 3, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  10. Roy

    I am an Obama supporter and and don't like this plan. Who cares about al Qaeda propaganda machine.

    The US is fighting a war and should not release the captives until the war is over. At that point, the captives should be returned to their respective countries for further jail time.

    I like the idea of sending some to the under-utilized prison near chicago. That create jobs and would allow some of the servicemen (heros) to return home.

    Obama, this idea is not a great strategy nor is it good for your political image. The GOP are already running with this.

    January 3, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  11. Dimslie

    Does anyone really believe that closing Gitmo and sending all the terrorists home will solve the problem? How did these fools ever get elected?

    January 3, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. jennifer

    It is time for American citizens to take back our government!
    What are they thinking?????

    January 3, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  13. Alan

    For the first time in US history, we have a president (and administration) who is opposed to keeping our country great. The economic and domestic/foreign policy decisions indicate that Obama's intention is to weaken our country, thereby lowering our standing in the world. It seems as though the problem, in his mind, is that the world's other countries have lagged too far behind us for too long. We are too successful. If only there were no superpower (USA), the world could get along.
    It used to be that democrats and republicans agreed on the goal of keeping America as a superpower, but simply disgreed on the means to accomplish that goal. Now, we have a more polarized country, because people are starting to see the truth behind Obama's far-left agenda. The vast majority of Americans diagree with his agenda, which explains why he must be deceptive and urgent.

    January 3, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. Chris

    Kill 'em all, Jeremy? Really. Morons like you are the reason "they" want to kill Americans in the first place.

    Don't any of you armchair quarterbacks get it? If America were to follow the path you all advocate, we would quickly be in WW3. Do you think that would serve American interests? Do you think we would even survive as a nation?

    All Obama is trying do, I think, is to de-escalate this whole rabid situation. It never should have been a war. The winner of a war is just the side that loses the least.

    It is this global hate-fest that is our REAL enemy. Who freaking cares if we release a few Gitmo detainees to Yemem. Do you really think that's going to make or break the Yemeni terrorist network? Mr. President, shut down Gitmo whatever it takes. I'll take honor over safety any day.

    The only thing that is going to end the war on terror is to stop all the fighting, abuse, hatred, and stupidity. I think it was the queen of Jordan who so succinctly pointed out that they can't stand it when we get along.

    January 3, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  15. Great........

    then we can capture them over and over again.......brilliant.

    January 3, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  16. Willy Brown

    You can't ask for better red meat.

    January 3, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. Adam

    As I read these articles everyday I usually would just make a comment or a snide remark or two.... All I can do today is just shake my head, LMAO and go to church this morning and Pray for the American people and my brothers and sisters in the service that are going to have to be put in harms way because of others stupidity.... LMAO..........

    January 3, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  18. chubby

    Typical stupidity of this administration. Send them to Yemen so they can get more terrorists training and return at a later date better prepared to attack us. By the way, what happens when these terrorists get to Illinois. Right now, they cannot attack Guantanamo to release their fellow terrorists because they are surrounded by Marines. That will not be the case in Illinois, where they have easy access to entrance to the prison.

    January 3, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. Scott, Tucson

    And six months or so after their release in Yemen these same terrorists will start popping up on battle fields in Iraq, Afghanistan or, they might very well be sitting next to you on an airliner trying to light an explosive device. Way to go obama!

    January 3, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. Larry S

    I continue to be amazed at the ignorance of liberals and their complete lack of common sense. Every day, there are more facts that Obama is unable to provide leadership.

    January 3, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. Dave

    This administration is weak, weak, weak – just like everyone suspected during the election.

    January 3, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  22. kev

    we should tag them with electronic tags like we do with whales or dolphins at sea...then release them back into the wild...track and trace them as they scurry into their little hell holes of hate and terror in Yemen (or Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia)...and then, when they are huddled with the masterminds of El Quaeda, blow them to smitherines

    Just a thought.

    January 3, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  23. Joe

    Are we crazy? Sending their warriors back home from Gitmo to help attack us on the ground there?

    January 3, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  24. toby

    Just as I thought this administration couldn't get any dumber, they go out and redeem themselves.

    January 3, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  25. liberal wingnut

    Ya that's a good idea you liberal idiots.

    January 3, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
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