Republicans call for moratorium on release of Gitmo prisoners

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Citing danger to the US and its allies, Republican senators have proposed legislation that seeks a moratorium on the release of “medium- and high-risk detainees” held at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In addition to imposing a two-year hold on the transfer of the majority of the 127 prisoners at the facility, the legislation would also bar the transfer of any detainees to Yemen for two years.

“It’s clear that we need a ‘time out’ so that we do not re-confront the terrorists that we had captured and are currently in Guantanamo,” US Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the bill’s sponsor, said at a Tuesday news conference.

“We shouldn’t just release them back out in this security setting that they could come back and attack us again,” Ayotte added, according to AFP.

The Guantanamo prison was first opened following the attacks of September 11, 2001, to house suspected jihadist militants with ties to Al-Qaeda. It eventually became an international symbol of human rights abuses.

In 2014, the Obama administration made progress in releasing low-level detainees, finding host nations for 28 prisoners — the highest number of transfers from the prison in one year since 2009. That year, President Obama first took office after vowing to close the facility, where many detainees who remain today have been kept for well over a decade without being charged or tried.

“I’m going to be doing everything I can to close” Guantanamo, President Obama told CNN in an interview aired on Dec. 21, echoing sentiments he has expressed often since taking office. Congress, he continues to insist, is to blame for the prison’s extended existence. Among other obstacles to shuttering the detention center, Congress has instituted a ban on detainee transfers to the US mainland.

“It will be very, very difficult for us to achieve that goal (closing the prison) before the president leaves office as long as Congress continues to block that path,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, a longtime supporter of the prison’s continued existence, said his committee would eventually take up the new bill, which, he said, will likely garner substantial support among Republicans in the GOP-led Senate.
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“We know for a fact that roughly 30 percent of those who have been released have re-entered the fight,” McCain said during the news conference.

Reuters reported that an anonymous Obama administration official countered McCain’s 30-percent figure, saying the senator has combined “suspected” and “confirmed” cases of recidivism, which creates a “damaging misperception” about how many released Guantanamo detainees engage or reengage in militancy after release.

“Over 90 percent of the Guantanamo detainees transferred during this administration are neither confirmed nor even suspected of having reengaged in any terrorist or other hostile activity,” the official told Reuters.

He added that nearly half of those suspected of “re-engaging” are now either dead or in custody.The

The provision of the legislation that prohibits transfers to Yemen – where 81 Gitmo detainees are from, more than any other single group at the facility – was justified, the senators said, by last week’s attacks in Paris – most notably the assault on the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. One of the two brothers who executed the attack had sought weapons training in Yemen in 2011, according to French authorities.

“The last thing we should be doing is transferring detainees from Guantanamo to a country like Yemen,” Ayotte said, according to Reuters.

Sen. Lindsey Graham said the France attacks show that some detainees should be held in jail the rest of their lives without a chance of release under supervision.

“The idea that you can release these people and watch them has a hole in it,” Graham said, AFP reported. “Monitoring has its limitations.”

The legislation also extends the ban on transferring released Guantanamo prisoners to the US for two years, and bars the construction of facilities to hold detainees in the United States.

Over the weekend, activists took to the property of former vice president Dick Cheney’s Virginia home to protest the 14th anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

White House aides: Dude, we didn’t think the Paris rally was gonna be that big, okay?

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The fallout from America’s absence from France’s unity rally in Paris after the awful Charlie Hebdo shooting has been well documented–and it’s embarrassing. For heaven’s sake, nations with awful records in journalistic freedom, like Egypt, Russia, Turkey, Algeria, and the United Arab Emirates, were there.

Allahpundit noted how the NFL playoffs might have contributed to our “semi-retired president” staying home. He also mentioned Breibart’s Joel Pollak and his theory about our conspicuous absence in Paris; Obama sat out during the Hands Up, Don’t Shoot rallies, so he couldn’t possibly attend a civil rights rally in Paris. His base would’ve said, “for distant strangers, but not for us?”

At any rate, there’s also the Obama White House staff that didn’t think the rally would be the largest in French history, and never bothered to ask if the president wanted to attend (via Politico):

    Wait, White House aides said Sunday, as they saw coverage come in of the anti-terrorism march in Paris — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is there? Jordan’s King Abdullah? The presidents of Gabon, Benin, Niger? Not to mention the leaders of the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy and other major allies — and even Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov?

    Somehow an event that the French didn’t even announce until Friday had quickly gathered momentum, drawing about three dozen foreign leaders to Paris to express their outrage at the killings of French citizens at a satire magazine and a Jewish supermarket last week. America’s representative, Ambassador Jane Hartley, looked a little out of place.

    White House aides were so caught off guard by the march’s massive size and attention that they hadn’t even asked President Barack Obama if he wanted to go.

    So by Monday morning, the intensity of criticism was so fierce that the aides knew they had to apologize. The media, they felt, had constructed a problem. This time, though, they thought the media might have a point. But they were also counting on the low-attention-span White House press corps to move on as soon as they gave in.

    It was so obvious, they didn’t even go to Obama for sign-off.

Then again, Allah had two exit questions:

    Exit question one: Do we really care that Obama didn’t show up for what was, after all, a well-meaning but toothless gesture? Exit question two: Is the real reason Obama stayed home perhaps because the White House has criticized Charlie Hebdo for its provocations in the past and saw no reason not to boycott until they got pounded yesterday from the right and left alike?

I would say that largely ceremonial gatherings like this is part of the job description as President of the United States, or pretty much for any officeholder at an executive level. Right now, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is having trouble on that front by arriving egregiously late to events, which in turn have some saying that it’s indicative of the mayor’s governing style.

As for the previous White House statements about Charlie Hebdo, that’s just another example of this White House being feckless when it comes to defending the values our society is based upon. Satire and free speech (even awful speech) must be allowed to flow; that’s how debates get started. For example, are we dealing with rational people who think it’s fine to fire bomb a publication because of a cartoon?

Regardless, what is true is that the optics of this whole thing is abysmal. When the White House admits to fumbling the ball, you know they’ve figured out that they’ve stepped in it in a big way. Staffers not thinking this would be a big deal have shed a new light on this whole fiasco.

As Politico mentioned, such admissions are rare; just minutes before the presser former White House press secretary Jay Carney said on CNN, “I don’t think you’ll hear that from my successor, Josh Earnest, today.”

What isn’t true is that this is somehow an Obama criticism thrown into a right wing blender. Heck, the Daily Show mocked our absence at this rally. CNN’s Jake Tapper said he was “ashamed” that we flaked out.

Fox News Fans Can Rejoice In The Colossal Collapse Of This Al-Gore-Connected TV Network

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When former Vice President Al Gore in 2013 sold his stake in the cable television network he founded, Current TV, it was reported that the prophet of global warming doom made some $70 million from the deal.

In a much-publicized transaction, Gore sold his struggling Current TV to a media entity for whom money appeared to be no object. Gore’s buyer, you may recall, was Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based network financed by the virtually limitless oil money of Qatar’s ruling family.

And while Al Jazeera America (AJAM), which launched in August of 2013, was billed as a direct competitor to CNN, HLN, MSNBC, and the Fox News Channel, it never really gained much traction with American viewers.

Now the network’s scarce and scrawny chickens of poor performance are coming home to roost.

Headquartered and run from very pricey studios on the first floor of the Manhattan Center in New York City, AJAM tried desperately to build a liberal audience with its passionate embrace of left-wing causes, its near-constant defense of radical Islam, and its habitual bashing of Fox News.

Only recently, in a post on its website dated January 12, 2015, Al Jazeera accused FNC — the massively successful rival network — of “bigoted ignorance” and “peddling ignorance.”

Well, as reports, it looks like the sector-dominating Fox News Channel is getting the last laugh as Al Jazeera America collapses, eliminating all of its U.S.-originated morning programming: “Instead of producing its own programming, the basement-rated cable news network will simply re-broadcast Al Jazeera programs from its parent studio in Qatar.”

It’s noteworthy that the Qatar-based Al Jazeera has long been criticized as a “terror network” and propaganda organ, widely denounced by critics for airing and seemingly promoting messages from al-Qaeda leaders.

In his Breitbart post concerning AJAM, media writer John Nolte ascribes the network’s dramatically shrinking program lineup to its political irrelevance and its failure to gain any influence with the far left among the viewing audience.

Since its launch in August of 2013, not a single AJA story has ever had any kind of impact on the American news narrative.

Not a single interview, YouTube moment, or AJA report has ever been anything other than a tree in a forest that no one heard fall.
There’s no definitive word yet on the fate of the on-camera personalities of the cable net that bought its way into America’s TV marketplace by helping to make Al Gore a very rich man.

But it’s a likely bet that some of those broadcasters who came from major news operations at CBS and CNN might be grappling with second thoughts about their career choices.


America snubs historic Paris rally: Holder was there but skipped out early, Kerry was in India, Obama and Biden just stayed home


President Barack Obama and other top members of his administration have snubbed a historic rally in Paris today that brought together more than 40 world leaders from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and even Russia.
‘France is our oldest ally,’ Obama said during a speech Friday in Tennessee. ‘I want the people of France to know that the United States stands with you today, stands with you tomorrow.’
But he wasn’t standing in Paris as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas put aside their differences and linked arms.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov made the same unifying gesture in the march down the Place de la Concorde in defiance of the Islamist terror attacks that rocked the city last week.
According to an administration official, President Obama spent part of his Sunday afternoon watching a National Football League game on television. Both games were broadcast hours after the march.
Heads of state from every major European power, including British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, joined French President Francois Hollande.
But the U.S.A. was M.I.A.

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    The Marche Republicaine saw numerous world leaders from Europe, Africa and the Middle East link arms and walk through the streets of Paris as a show of solidarity with France

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    OTHER ATTENDEES: Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (second from left) Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz (third from left) EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (fourth from left) Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary-general of the Council of Europe, (fourth from left), President of the European council Donald Tusk (third from right), Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (second from right) and Queen Rania (right) and King Abdullah II (not pictured) of Jordan and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (not pictured)

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden remained in Washington, despite having no events on their public schedules Sunday. Secretary of State John Kerry was a world away in India, on a pre-planned trip.
Attorney General Eric Holder was in Paris for a terrorism summit held on the march’s sidelines, but he slipped away and made appearances on four American morning television talk shows just as the incredible rally was starting.
The US was represented at the march only by Jane Hartley, the American ambassador to France who is unrecognizable to most Americans, let alone the rest of the world.
A senior administration official was quick to point out, however, that ‘Attorney General Holder – a Cabinet level official – is representing the United States at the security meetings in Paris today.’
‘He is joined by the DHS Deputy Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas,’ the official added in a statement to many news outlets.
‘The United States is represented at the march by Ambassador Hartley.’
And ‘as far as public signs of French solidarity from the U.S.,’ the official concluded, ‘don’t forget several public statements from the president, his call to Hollande and a condolence stop to the French embassy.’
Obama went to the French embassy in Washington, D.C. on Thurdsay to pay his respects, and signed a condolence book with the rallying cry ‘Vive la France!’

Holder, Obama’s longest-serving cabinet member, was pictured shaking hands with French officials after the event, but he slipped away – as did Mayorgas – before the march kicked off around 3:00 p.m.
The attorney general appeared on four Sunday morning talk shows around the same time as the march, although it’s unclear whether he spoke live from Paris or if his segments were pre-recorded.
The Department of Justice would not immediately comment on Holder’s schedule with, and a spokesperson for Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson similarly did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The White House press office also did not respond to a question seeking confirmation that the president was engrossed in the NFL playoffs on Sunday afternoon.
Vice President Joe Biden often fills in for the president at events that require White House gravitas, but he was nowhere to be seen either, despite his own empty schedule.
Among those who did attend were: Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Union President Donald Tusk, Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas, Queen Rania and King Abdullah II of Jordan, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutog

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    EN MASSE: An estimated 1.3million people gathered at Republique Square in Paris, France on Sunday to demonstrate against the recent terrorist attack at the Charlie Hebdo offices which resulted in the death of more than a dozen people

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    SKIPPED: Both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s schedules were free today, but neither flew to Paris for the historic march. Pictured above in Clinton, Tennessee on Friday

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    Protected: Security was an orchestrated effort, but that fact that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) joined shows how secure the dignitaries were. Pictured above with French President Francois Hollande (right) during a ceremony at the Grand Synagogue in Paris, following the march.

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    Mistake? Several political talking heads called President Obama’s absence a ‘mistake’. Above, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (center) leaves the Elysee Palace to participate in the march

CNN’s Jake Tapper reported that security for the march was difficult, with 2,300 police officers and paramilitary forces deployed to Paris.
The foreign dignitaries were protected with police snipers, plainclothes cops and anti-terror officers. Streets were shut down and parking was restricted.
However, the attendance of controversial heads of state like Netanyahu appeared to show that the march was well secured.
‘I don’t mean this as a criticism of the Obama administration,’ Tapper said Sunday while reporting live from Paris, ‘but just as an American I do wish that we were better represented in this beautiful procession of world leaders.’
‘I’m a little disappointed, personally – this is me speaking personally, not as a representative of CNN, but as an American – that there isn’t more of a display of unity here,’ the host of ‘The Lead’ added.
CNN’s Fareed Zakaria was one of the many who noticed President Obama’s absence, and remarked that it was a mistake not to show up and support our ‘deepest ideological ally.’
Zakaria said that it would have sent an important message to have an American face among the wold leaders.
Forbes columnist Stuart Anderson echoed Zakaria’s statements, saying: ‘By not attending the unity rally in Paris on Sunday, President Obama has missed an opportunity to show leadership, to demonstrate that Americans are as committed to fight against terrorism as anyone in the world.
‘And that America stands with its allies in a worldwide battle that, unfortunately, is likely to last many years.’
The White House announced on Sunday that it would convene ‘a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism’ in February ‘to highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence.’
A statement from White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest made no specific mention of Islam, Islamist terrorism, or Muslims in general.

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    Support: French President Francois Hollande (left) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right) stand side by side in the march on Sunday

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The (Ever-Growing) List Of Cowards Refusing To Publish The Mohammad Cartoons


Alex Griswold
Media Reporter

In the wake of the terrorist attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Habdo for publication of cartoons of Mohammad, a number of Western outlets are on the record refusing to the publish the same cartoons.

(NOTE: For the record, The Daily Caller has decided to publish the photos when necessary — partly as a stand for free speech, but mostly out of a complete disregard for staff safety. Look, here’s one now!)


Associated Press

A statement from the Associated Press indicates that it is their policy not to publish Mohammad cartoons. “None of the images distributed by AP showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad,” a spokesman told The Daily Beast. “It’s been our policy for years that we refrain from moving deliberately provocative images.”

And yet, many on Twitter noted that the AP was still selling images of “Piss Christ,” the anti-Christian piece of art depicting a crucifix dipped in urine. Shortly after the hypocrisy was pointed out, AP pulled that image as well.


Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray reports that NBC News’ Group Standards team has instructed all three networks not to touch the photos.


In the wake of the terrorist attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Habdo for publication of cartoons of Mohammad, a number of Western outlets are on the record refusing to the publish the same cartoons.

(NOTE: For the record, The Daily Caller has decided to publish the photos when necessary — partly as a stand for free speech, but mostly out of a complete disregard for staff safety. Look, here’s one now!)

A statement from the Associated Press indicates that it is their policy not to publish Mohammad cartoons. “None of the images distributed by AP showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad,” a spokesman told The Daily Beast. “It’s been our policy for years that we refrain from moving deliberately provocative images.”

And yet, many on Twitter noted that the AP was still selling images of “Piss Christ,” the anti-Christian piece of art depicting a crucifix dipped in urine. Shortly after the hypocrisy was pointed out, AP pulled that image as well.


Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray reports that NBC News’ Group Standards team has instructed all three networks not to touch the photos.


Politico’s Hadas Gold obtained a CNN memo confirming the network will not show the images, but asked employees to describe them in detail:

“Although we are not at this time showing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet considered offensive by many Muslims, platforms are encouraged to verbally describe the cartoons in detail. This is key to understanding the nature of the attack on the magazine and the tension between free expression and respect for religion.”

Of course, since Islam does not ban describing blasphemous images, CNN’s stance is about as brave as not covering the images at all.

New York Daily News

The left-leaning New York tabloid is printing images of the Charlie Hebdo covers… but with the offending images blurred.

The Telegraph

The UK paper is likewise blurring images of Muhammad.

Jewish Chronicle

The editor of the UK publication was open about the fact that as a Jewish publication, publishing the photos would put his employees at special risk.