January 3rd, 2010
10:52 AM ET
5 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. Kana

    Terrorist attacks against the US have been occuring for a while.

    Iran hostage crisis 1979 – Carter
    Beirut bombing of the USMC baracks in 1983 – Reagan
    1990 – Iraq invades US ally Kuwait
    1998 President Clinton failed to take action to capture\eliminate Osama Bin Laden
    2000 USS Cole bombing – Clinton
    September 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda lead by Osama masterminds and pulls off terorist attack on the U.S.

    Followed by the dismantling of freedoms granted in the U.S Constitution by the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches of the U.s> government

    You can't lay all the blame on the president of any particular era. With out the backing of the Legislative branch the prsident would not be able to get any thing done. Thank our elected officials for the state our country is in.

    January 3, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Realistic

    Who in their right mind cares what al Queda is "using," whether Guantanamo or whatever, as an "argument" against us? They also use the Jews’ existence as an argument. And the sinful technology of the West. And the fact that some people are still not Muslims.

    At the bottom line, they don’t even care about reasons. They just do what they are told. And it’s obvious that the ones doing the telling couldn’t care less about right and wrong.

    January 3, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. Bob

    Senator Obama (now President Obama) campaigned for Raila Odinga of Kenya in their 2007 elections. Odinga lost and there was violent turmoil.

    What does this have to do with the current subject of releasing detaininees to Yemen?

    Odinga signed an MOU with the Muslim minority (for their support) that contained many objectionable requirements to include one that would not allow Kenyan muslim terrorists to be deported to Guantanamo Bay (Remember they blew up our embassy in Nairobi). While campaigning for Odinga, our President probably knew about this MOU.

    So it is not surprising that the administration is willing to send the detainees to anywhere in order to close Guantanamo.

    It was his campaign pledge to close Guantanamo to terrorists, however, I believe it goes further back with his close relationship to Raila Odinga and Odinga's pledge to the Muslims regarding Guantanamo Bay. A copy of that MOU signed by Odinga and the Muslim top leader in Kenya is fully available and it's 13 specific requirements chilling and are extremely oppressive to non-muslims given the population of Kenya is 90% Christian and 10% Muslim.

    January 3, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  4. Robert

    I am for Obama and anyone who wants another Republican must have been in a coma for 8 years BUT I agree those who disagree with this, sending a terrorist to a terrorist country is just not too bright. obama has let me down by not making banks modify loans they have none nothing and his refusal to make e-verify manatory and stop illegals from taking American jobs. I hope he does better and also hope he reverses this decision. Unless of course we plan on bombing Yemen right after we send this idiot there.

    January 3, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. Indy

    Well it is easy to see by these posts that many are doing exactly what the terrorists want and you are giving them what they want. You are playing right into their hands with your racism of the President, you are playing into their game by wanting to kill the detainees. They are not releasing terrorists, they are releasing detainess that they have no evidence to lay charges but many of you just freak out like the terrorists want you to. There are so many hate filled posts on here you would make any terrorist proud.As long as the hate, fear and division is your main goal on here the terrrorists are accomplishing everything they set out to accomplish.The main goal of the terrorists is to bankrupt America financially and morally and you have a few ingredients nedded and that is division, fear, and hate. Congratulations on your goal of degrading and dividing of America as the terrorists have hoped you would. Too bad the American spirit of standing together and fighting the good fight has eroded beyond hope. Great job Republicans and right wingers, you will soon have the terrorists ruling as you have wished for. For you I guess in your mind it is better then a half white half black American as POTUS. Nice job in ruining the country righties

    January 3, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. Susan

    It looks like many of you, have not learned anything about DEBATING. I remember being taught that NAME CALLING is not part of an educated debate. Many of you are full off HATE and NAME CALLING......this is very sad......and does help the United States of America. Please stop the name calling and DEBATE the ISSUE.

    President Obama was elected with this as part of his campaign.............. "Close Guantanamo".

    January 3, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  7. nhrealist

    "We are making sure that we don't do anything that's going to put Americans at risk," Brennan said. Who does this guy think he is kidding, as if the we he refers to has some crystal ball in determining what people are actually thinking. We has already seen what happens when sending these militant people back to their country. When it happens again, our administration will only say "Oh, we never thought that this would happen"

    January 3, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  8. Nick San Diego

    @ Liberals are worthless
    Well now you've shown me your intelligence with the comment "that this administration can't be trusted with the economy." Don't you realize that YOUR last administration., came into office with a SURPLUS and left with a HUGE DEFICIT.and now we have an administration trying to clean it up and you yearn for the last. OMFG

    January 3, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  9. Hammerer

    Some detainees will go to Yemen, the reat will be settled in America. That way the terroist in Yemen will have a number of contacts in America to help plan and carry out their attacks.
    Great plan Obama!

    January 3, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Steve

    Sending these guys back to Yemen??? Obama is an idiot. Makes Bush look smart buy comparrison which i did not think possible before now. Change for the better huh? Nice job dummy.

    January 3, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. RobertJ

    We've already seen what happens when detainees are sent back to their home countries, especially to Yemen.

    Albert Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

    January 3, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. Stewart Hearn

    I full agree with sending GITMO detainees to Yemen. In fact I think it would be a great idea if all the detainees were flown back to whatever their country of origin is and dropped off--I think from about 20,000 feet would be about right.

    January 3, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. John

    We Got To Start The Impeachment Process On Obama RIGHT NOW

    January 3, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. Sue

    This is UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

    Understand this Obama supporters..........

    There are only 10 more months until the elections.........And, the Democrats are going to get clobbered!!!!! The power/control is going to be taken away from Obama, Pelosi, Reid--and the rest of the loony left circus of clowns.

    And, I cannot wait until this news begins to hit all media sources!!!!!

    The Republicans are going to SUCCESSFULLY campaign on the economy, unemployment rate, and national security.

    The Democrats will still be campaigning on "blame Bush"-–good luck with that.

    January 3, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  15. TW

    I don't think it really matters where the detainees are sent. They will end up wherever they want anyway after they are set free.

    January 3, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. Debby

    How can Brennan comment on this when his own leader thinks these people are extremists and not terrorists. Obama is all about Obama and his popularity around the world. SICK I have to give Bush some credit he didn't care what people thought of him when he made decisions, and he kept us safe the rest of the time he was in office.

    January 3, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. Sue

    Bob:

    During the election primaries/campaigns---I cannot believe that no media sources researched Raila Odinga and Obama's association with him.

    I am very much aware of Raila Odinga---he himself is a terrorist.

    They murdered hundreds (maybe thousands)-–as he tried to remove the current government and replace it with one of Sharia Law.

    January 3, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. Mohamed Shahid

    Obama is an agent for Saudi Arabia and he is doing his job. Obama is fooling Americans. Americans will destroy America and they will finally be begging Arabs for help. America is a big show off, they have nothing except Hollywood movies. America will be destroyed by Muslims. You can see it now, Obama is a full supporter of Islamic ideology. Let's see and wait.

    January 3, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. j.r.

    It's good to see that the country is united. And that we are having a rational discussion about who we really are and how we deal with threats to our lives and those we love. I guess it's why the world looks up to us. We know how to talk to each other with respect. We understand that WE ARE ALL Americans.

    For more good jokes. Stayed tuned to this site.

    January 3, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. AlChemist

    1000 people were rounded up after 9/11 by the CIA, mostly in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and sent to Gitmo. Since then about 600 have had to be released, because the Bushies were too embarrassed to admit how little reliable evidence there was on them. Of course, conservatives don't believe you need any evidence to throw people down in dungeons and throw away the key. I thought we had a revolution a few years back that prohibited the King from locking people up indefinitely without access to lawyers or judges, and without the right to challenge their detention?

    January 3, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. Sue

    Roy:

    "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."

    ---------–

    Do some research on what the terrorists have done in other countries--in order to get their fellow terrorists released from the prisons.

    For example...........They have taken schools hostage. One example was in Russia-–they took the elementary kids/teachers/parents hostage (it was the first day of school)--and demanded that their terrorist buddies be relased from the prisons. The Russian's military hands were tied--as the terrorists were packed with explosives--that they threatened to use-–if any rescue attempt was made. Hundreds of kids, parents, teachers ended up dying that day. I forget the name of the place in Russia--or I would post it for you--so that you could research it for yourself.

    January 3, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. Adam in California

    Well let's not judge this too hastily -

    These innocent-till-proven-guilty-so-therefore-innocent Yemeni detainees may return to art therapy classes and thereby get an opportunity to recover from any torture such as belly-slapping or firm-holding that they might have experienced.

    We can therefore expect art dealers in New York to have a new supply in art for all of those wall street hedge fund managers who made a killing this year by taking free money from the government and risking it on commodity and credit spread plays – "investments" that create zero jobs.

    But those hedge fund managers will need to decorate their apartments overlooking central park, so the stimulus is coming folks! That and new TSA employees to pat your crotch – all good paying union jobs.

    America is coming back!

    January 3, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  23. Wakeup Call

    Stupid move to send these terrorist to Yemen. Obama needs to wakeup and answer the phone. Our leadership is making decisions based on a political agenda not the real needs of our Nation.

    January 3, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. Lame Duck

    Excellent decision!!!! Obama you have the courage to make great decisions. Close the death chambers. Fight terrorism on their soil. Clean up the BUSH mess. Great leaders do not react to polls and short term emotions. Successful passage of health care, improve economy in 2010, jobs pick up in 2011, end afgan and Iraq wars in 2011. ---> great acomplishments, considering the last several years. No problem with re-election in 2012. Excellent. !!!!

    January 3, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. Scott

    Are these Obama advisors just plain brain dead? Why don't they get it? Do they just not care? Oh... the party ideology is more important than national security!

    January 3, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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