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December 27, 2010

Obama's Repeated Claim That Gitmo Is Major AQ Recruitment Tool Is Nonsense

Obama and other liberals have been saying Gitmo is a major recruitment tool for Al Qaeda for years. They never quite getting around to proving that or demonstrating what exactly will be different if we closed Gitmo but that doesn't stop them from saying it ad nauseam.

Doing the job the MFM is supposed to but won't do, Thomas Joscelyn looked at Al Aqeda propaganda statements over the years and found that Gitmo rarely makes the propaganda cut.

THE WEEKLY STANDARD has reviewed translations of 34 messages and interviews delivered by top al Qaeda leaders operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan (“Al Qaeda Central”), including Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri, since January 2009. The translations were published online by the NEFA Foundation. Guantanamo is mentioned in only 3 of the 34 messages. The other 31 messages contain no reference to Guantanamo. And even in the three messages in which al Qaeda mentions the detention facility it is not a prominent theme.

Instead, al Qaeda’s leaders repeatedly focus on a narrative that has dominated their propaganda for the better part of two decades. According to bin Laden, Zawahiri, and other al Qaeda chieftains, there is a Zionist-Crusader conspiracy against Muslims. Relying on this deeply paranoid and conspiratorial worldview, al Qaeda routinely calls upon Muslims to take up arms against Jews and Christians, as well as any Muslims rulers who refuse to fight this imaginary coalition.

This theme forms the backbone of al Qaeda’s messaging – not Guantanamo.

Other topics al Qaeda scum like to talk about....the evils of capitalism and global warming. Hmmmm, where else have I heard that from? Never mind.

As Joscelyn points out, Obama and others often talk about jihadi websites as well and no doubt Gitmo gets some play on those but you'd think the "the number one recruitment tool" would get more than a few passing mentions from the top leaders (who are likely to draw the most attention). Maybe they are on the DVD extras of these speeches.

Obama and most liberals simply will not admit that the number one motivating factor in recruiting new terrorists is a religious appeal to Muslims against infidels. To admit that would ruin the happy multi-culti talk they love so much. It would also force liberals to confront the fact that the real bad guys here are the terrorists and not those fighting the terrorists. That would be inconvenient to say the least.

I think it's great the Joscelyn has done this but let's not forget one very basic fact: Gitmo's Camp X-Ray, the first facility used to hold War on Terror detainees there, opened in January of 2002. Prior to that date al Qaeda managed to recruit enough volunteers to pull off, or assist with, a few terrorists attacks you may have heard of (pdf):

-Attacks on US troops in Yemen and Somalia in the early 90's
-The bombings of two US Embassies in Africa in 98
-The attack on the USS Cole in 2000
-The 9/11 attacks in 2001

A series of other attacks were either planned and failed or were disrupted by security officials.

al Qaeda was also training terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (who carried out his "Bojinka Plot" in 1995 after training in Afghanistan with al Qaeda but before officially joining the group)

So let's not pretend that recruitment was a problem before Gitmo. There are simply a lot of Islamists out there willing to kill and die for their religion and where we keep the ones we capture isn't going to change that fact.

It's almost as if the Gitmo talking point is more about recruiting liberal voters than Islamic terrorists.


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posted by DrewM. at 04:32 PM

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