National Security Network

Guantanamo Detainees

Guantanamo Detainees

Military

NSN Daily Update: Ten Years is Enough: National Security Leaders on Guantanamo

Report 9 January 2012
Ten years after the opening of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, political debate rages on. But the military who run it and security officials who tracked its inmates have a surprisingly united view: the facility should be closed and as many of its inmates as possible tried in U.S. courts.  With David Petraeus pointing out that "the enemy continues to beat you with them [Guantanamo conditions] like a stick," and retired officers from four-star Marine generals to the prison's first warden calling for it to be closed, it is time for Congress and the administration to work together to craft a solution based on effective counterterrorism, not fear-mongering. 
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Diplomacy

Misleading from South Carolina

Report 14 November 2011
As Republican candidates for president debated foreign policy in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) laid down lines of attack in the conservative National Review. Many of his attacks were echoed on Saturday by the candidates, who used the piece as a sort of playbook to fill in for a lack of experience and ideas in the field. Missing, in the debate and the article, was strategic thinking - China, for example, is mentioned only once in the piece, in relation to sanctions on Iran - as well as an understanding of the connection between the foundations of our strength at home and our power abroad. Also missing was awareness of how extreme conservative views clash with the advice of military leaders and nonpartisan national security experts. When Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN), for example, was asked about her support for torture techniques that our military opposes, she said: "I'm on the same side as Vice President Cheney on this issue" and against Colin Powell and John McCain. Below, NSN explores how the topics covered in Graham's article stack up against expert advice. Graham's words are in italics.
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Terrorism & National Security

Conservatives Terrified of Bringing Terrorists to Justice

Report 18 November 2009
A comprehensive strategy and architecture to bring terrorists to justice should be a source of national pride – not fear-mongering. Whether it’s making inane assertions that terrorists will kidnap Mayor Bloomberg’s daughter, or claiming that Illinois will become ground zero for terrorist attacks and jihad recruitment, conservatives are simply unhinged when it comes to combating terror. But while they demonize our judicial system and lambast the ability of the men and women of our prison and law enforcement systems to keep our communities safe, they neglect the fact that trying terrorists in civilian courts—and following the rule of law—is one of our best strategies for combating violent extremism. Pursuing this takes critical recruitment tools away from the terrorists, brings us allies and partners around the world, and underscores the foundations of our democracy that separates America from its enemies. This was best summed up by 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser, who said: “To be clear, the only danger posed by prosecuting men like KSM in an open court in New York is the red alert it poses to the Republican Party's faltering reputation in fighting their ‘war on terror.’”
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