What Republicans Don’t Want You to Know: 500 + Detainees Were Released from GITMO Under Bush


Yet another exercise in exploring the depth of Republican hypocrisy and hysteria. This one is about OH MY GOD IMPEACHING OBAMA BECAUSE GITMO TRANSFEREES!

In a June 2nd press briefing, questions were asked regarding the transfer of the five Guantánamo (Gitmo) detainees in exchange for the successful recovery of Sergeant Bergdahl, a prisoner of war in Afghanistan. Press Secretary Jay Carney explained that there were restrictions made in the prisoner exchange, which is not an uncommon occurrence in armed conflicts.

From the White House transcript:

Q As you know, there have been detainees who have returned to the battlefield. What are the guarantees, other than just a one-year ban on travel on these five detainees that they won’t go back and target U.S. interests, U.S. personnel, U.S. military?

MR. CARNEY: Again, I’ll re-stipulate that prisoner exchanges are not uncommon in armed conflicts. Secondly, I’ll say that without getting into specific assurances, I can tell you that they included a travel ban and information-sharing on the detainees between our governments, between the United States and Qatar. I can also tell you that the assurances were sufficient to allow the Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, in coordination with the national security team, to determine that the threat posed by the detainees to the United States would be sufficiently mitigated and that the transfer was in the U.S. national security interest.

So this was done after the appropriate consideration and analysis, and it was the judgment of the Secretary of Defense in coordination with the entire national security team that there was sufficient mitigation in place and assurances in place to allow the exchange.

Republicans are acting as if Obama never should have done this. Senator Lindsey Graham is talking impeachment if Obama releases any more prisoners or tries once again to close Gitmo. Yet, in 2009, PolitiFact confirmed that “More than 500 Guantánamo detainees were released or transferred under Bush.”

Indeed, government documents indicate more than 500 detainees were released or transferred from Guantanamo while George W. Bush was president. A White House executive order issued on the second day of Obama’s presidency said, “The federal government has moved more than 500 such detainees from Guantánamo, either by returning them to their home country or by releasing or transferring them to a third country.”
That’s backed up by a fact sheet from the military task force that runs the detention camp, which says 520 detainees had been released or transferred by March 2009.

PolitiFact then got into the weeds of release versus transfer, with a transfer being a situation where there are restrictions (as appears to be the case with the prisoners transferred in exchange for Bergdahl). Maybe someone should tell Lindsey Graham, too.

But the Pentagon says there is a difference between a release and a transfer to another country. The vast majority of detainees leave Gitmo under a transfer, which means they are transported to another country that places them under some type of restrictions. Some are incarcerated in those countries because of criminal charges, while others face monitoring or travel limitations.

Carney noted we successfully recovered Sergeant Bergdahl (this is exactly the sort of discussion Republicans are hoping to avoid), “(T)his was the right thing to do, because we in the United States do not leave our men and women in uniform behind during an armed conflict. And five years is a very long time to be a prisoner.”

The bottom line is Obama got Osama, and now Obama successfully recovered our single prisoner in the Afghanistan war. So, Republicans are attacking Bergdahl and his family in dishonorable and stunningly disturbed ways, hoping to mitigate what they see as another Obama success.

Republicans have muddied the waters of every single Obama success. There has not been one occasion upon which they have been able to set aside their partisan agenda in order to cheer or praise a positive occurrence under Obama. They made sure no one gave Obama credit for bin Laden and now they’re at it again.

Ironically, even if the Republican smear campaign against Bergdahl and his family was accurate (and no one judging Bergdahl is in any position to sift through the facts as broken down here, so the discussion is irrelevant and ridiculous), the bottom line is we don’t leave our troops behind.

Clueless Republicans might want to note that it’s not because we deem them all heroic characters fit for the black and white world in which conservatives live — the ultimate Good Guy. It’s because practically speaking, we need to protect our assets, including information. If we have reason to suspect an asset has been compromised it behooves us to determine to what extent.

Republicans have chosen to troll Obama’s national security successes until the press is embroiled in discussing their accusations rather than the success. We can’t have a moment of national pride in a job well done—oh, no. Not while a Democrat is in the White House.

Note: Per the Pentagon’s distinction, the title to this article should read “released or transferred”. However, for the sake of brevity and due to common usage in the national dialogue on this issue, we’ve used “released”.

75 Replies to “What Republicans Don’t Want You to Know: 500 + Detainees Were Released from GITMO Under Bush”

  1. Yep, the good old double standard is alive and well in Washington DC. I honestly believe that Obama is daring them to try to impeach him. He knows about the time they start that campaign the Dems will come out in droves to vote. He knows the constitution inside and out and and knows his limits of power. I think he is laying a trap for these crazies.

  2. Sarah Jones, if you read this you have a slight spelling mistake in the second sentence at the top of the article:

  3. I’m sick of these evil, hate filled, repukes and their hypocritical ways. I truly believe that they don’t realize that the people are starting to see what they really stand for. So the best thing they can do is follow Rev. Jim Jones and drink some Kool-Aid. Because the will find out Karma is a bitch.

  4. Wait a minute… Isn’t Gitmo a torture camp? Has the false left/right paradigm now nudged everyone involved into accepting that torture by the US is appropriate behavior?

    I thought torture was one of the reasons why Saddam was demonized in Iraq… We just had to blow up millions of people to stop that evil dictator!

  5. The best thing we could do is close Gitmo. The terrorist networks use it for a recruiting tool and it’s effective. They tell people look at the americans with their bill of rights and due process but where are the prisoners rights at Gitmo. No trial, no rights, not even charges and yet they have been there for years.

  6. Republicans are way out of their league when dealing with our President, he has them coming and going.

  7. Unfortunately, I believe that is what Republicans want, I believe they want conflict because there is a profit to be made.

    Republican sleazebags only care about money and they couldn’t care less how they make it.

  8. GITMO is a USN Navy Base. A prisoner area and brig was established within the base under the authority of the US Army. A special camp was constructed and houses the worst of the worst prisoners who have been tortured during their incarceration.

  9. The camp within GITMO should be closed and destroyed. The President signed an order to close this camp. The Republicans aided by a few Democrats have refused funding to accomplish the task.

  10. Comparing the 5 prisoners in this exchange to any other prisoner released from GITMO in the past is nothing short of ignorant …

  11. they refuse funding while criticizing President Obama for not keeping his campaign promise to close GITMO down.

    It’s too bad that Republican voters make a concerted effort to insulate themselves from the truth, if they would just leave the bubble for a little while, they might learn the truth about the leaders of their party.

  12. So you know what 520 or so prisoners who have been released what they been up to but you can say you know these 5 are the worst of the lot? Comparing you with an intelligent human being is, what’s your word oh yeah is nothing short of ignorant …

  13. I can’t wait until all the facts come out on this issue, Republicans are going to look really, really, bad.

  14. I guess my last comment did not pass the “moderator” test … interesting interpretation of the first amendment … again, predictable

  15. You are not only ignorant but are a joke. Do you even know what the first amendment means. Didn’t they teach you the Constitution in home school? Big dummy

  16. Lets face it, you just dont have what it takes.

    The first amendment does not apply on other peoples property. You should bone up.

  17. The “last comment” I am referring to was not posted to this thread … the moderator censored it … not surprising

  18. I read it and to put it mildly it was so devoid of anything factual I wouldn’t wipe the last turd out my ass with it. Tell you what when you don’t sound like a babbling idiot and come with facts then we can talk

  19. I was saving you from the ridicule you so richly deserve.You say I am part of the 47%,your dumbass cant even see the irony of that statement because as I recall that’s exactly what you ignorant., know nothing dumbasses got the last election. I am the majority because that’s where the smart people of this country resides. Now I am being nice with your troglodyte thinking and I think you should go play with mommy BOY and stop wasting my time. The next time you come with some stupid bovine excrement will be the last time

  20. Why does it always have to be about Dems and Repubs. Why can’t any of you just see the Diff in right and wrong.

    It was wrong with Reagan and Iran, Contra. He should of been impeach,fined or brought up on charges. The same when Bush did it. Now we have Obama doing it. When are we going to hold these men accountable for their actions.

    You all are no better then the people you follow. Like blind cattle. It doesn’t matter what a Dem does. Every Dem in the country will try to protect him and every Repub will try to hang him. It’s no diff when a Repub does something wrong. when are u all going to wake up and live by your own morals and values. Wrong is wrong no matter the Party symbol is behind it.

  21. What exactly is “wrong” here?

    You do realize that when a war winds down, the countries involved are supposed to exchange their POWS.

    The people in Gitmo are POWs. It doesn’t matter who they are – they are POWs.

    Shall we keep Gitmo opened until they all die a natural death? Or do we return them to their homeland when the conflict is over?

    You might want to consider the international precedence for this, as well as international law.

    Say we didn’t do this deal, what then? In other words, say Gitmo is never closed and we hang onto these POWs long after the Afghan conflict ended. Now imagine the next war we have (and there will always be a next war) and the other country in that conflict decides they’re just going to open a prison for POWs and at the end of the conflict they decide to keep them…because we didn’t follow established rules of engagement and send the Gitmo POWs back when that conflict was over so why should they?

    Then what do we do?

  22. I wasn’t upset when these prisoners were released by Pres. Bush at the time.

    We can’t keep that place open forever and it’s high time everyone realized that at some point, all of those people HAVE TO GO HOME.

    Honestly, why keep it open now? There’s no point. For every prisoner we have in there now, there are probably 10 more taking his place in Afghanistan. We gain NOTHING by keeping this prison open. Not one damn thing.

  23. Clinton has 1 scandal under is belt, Regan 1, Bush 1, Obama has Benghazi, Bergdahl, Va Scandal and Fast and Furious. He also wanted to make all US Soldiers and Vets pay for their own Health Care. This man is clearly an enemy of the United States and Needs to be impeached and tried for treason. This is coming from an independent Former US Marine. I hold no party ties only the Truth

  24. I don’t think any sane person has a problem with it. All we are doing is showing the Reich wing doofuses how they are being hypocrites. See I know the real reason other than they are just plain ignorant about history, there is no other explanation than they are just mad because a blackman is smarter than them. You see it with Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson with their total denial of facts.

  25. Djchefron, I am a former US Marine who served 2 tours in Iraq and 1 in the Stan. Don’t talk to me about honor and sitting on a fence. You talk your trash from a dj booth hiding behind the blood and bodies of men like Me.

    You talk about honor. Bergdahl dropped his weapon and walked off his post in the time of war. Where is the honor in that. He walked of his post looking for the Taliban in hopes to join them. If thats honor then you need a new out look on life. 6 soldiers lost their lives looking for a Traitor. Wheres the honor in that. He comes home and his father is sporting Taliban gear and a nice beard speaking their tongue. Wheres the honor in that. please sir don’t talk to me about an Honor you know nothing about.

  26. You say you are not a republican but you repeat all their lies and please tell us where the President wanted to make Vets pay for their own health care?

  27. Well seeing that he will be held in Qatar for at least a year and we will pull out at the end of the year because Karzi will not sign a SOFA to keep any troops there I think its going to be hard to fight American soldiers when none are present. Try using your brain for once

  28. Disabled Vet from what stubbing your toe. The question is how many tours did you serve

    Come on DJ if you really served. Use your Brain. He disappeared when he was standing Guard Duty. His rifle was found standing in a corner of his post. So you are telling me that the Taliban, Waltzed onto a Heavily Guarded Base with no one seeing em. Took this guy prisoner and left all his gear behind. His rifle, his nvgs. Things that would be deemed priceless to a rebel soldier.

    I guess all of his Sqaud mates are lying just because they don’t like him. Come on Man use your brain. This guy is a traitor.

  29. There was a army before Iraq doofus and I don’t have to explain nothing to you because you have no right to question anyone’s service. And you call yourself a marine. My arse

  30. so what your saying is. He can’t kill Americans cause we will no longer be in the Stan. LOL ya that stopped em from hitting the twin towers alright.

    We traded a pvt for 5 generals. who the hell does bergdahl think he is RG3.

    I could careless if it was 5 peons. These are 5 men that the rebels will follow to hell and back. you don’t let men like these 5 go

  31. and you all talk about leaving no man behind. HA Ha Ha guess that didn’t count for the peeps in Benghazi. What is this selective Hero week

  32. You do not owe anyone any explanation for your disability.

    Questioning YOUR service while touting his own as some sort of free pass to say whatever he wants, as if that and that alone gives him some authority, is out of line.

    He’s not worth anymore of your time, DJ.

  33. Ok tell me this Von Clausewitz if the nearest troops were at least 8 hrs away and the Ambassador died from breathing in smoke how long was he suppose to hold his breath? And I triple dog dare you to show me where this rescue mission was suppose to come from. You are nothing more than right wing troll who just repeat what you are tols=d by the right wing propaganda machine and again you don’t think

  34. Lol Paws, is that the best you got. Attack and Ignore me because my words are the truth. Dem and Pubs are all corrupt and only give a dam about themselves.

    Truth is truth. Lets get Bergdahl out but screw over the peeps in Benghazi. Lets get Bergdahl out but screw the Marine in Mexico. Hey we saved Bergdahl but sold guns to Drug cartels that got Agent Brian Terry Killed. I don’t think I need to go on anymore

  35. You haven’t been keeping up. He got off guard duty he ask his commander can he take his weapon with him , he left his weapon and went through the fence which he did a couple of times and came back. You don’t know what happen after that. I don’t know what happen after that. I do know the people who you are getting this bullshit from are nothing more than lying sack of shits who could give a damn about this man or his family. First they were for it then they went about deleing their support and now against oit. And you put your trust in these idiots? Just sad. He will have his day in court and then the truth will come out. Now if you have first hand knowledge please share

  36. LOL DJ,

    again attack me as a person and my politics cause u have nothing more to go on. ooh and btw. I am pro Abortion so that automatically disqualifies me for the pubs.

  37. Ahh when you bring bullshit then yes I will answer you. Now tell me wwhat forces were on hand to mount a rescue in Benghazi?

  38. Here is something to chew on
    Dangerous? Guantanamo 5 may not all live up to description
    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called the five, who are now in Qatar, “the hardest and toughest of all.”

    A closer look at the former prisoners, however, indicates that not all were hard-core militants. Three held political positions in the Taliban government that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 and were considered relative moderates. A fourth was a mid-level police official, according to experts.

    Only one, Mohammed Fazl, appears to have a documented history as a military leader and dangerous extremist.

  39. So far you havent done anything to qualify yourself as an intelligent being. Go do some research then come back

  40. It not about mounting a rescue. How about getting them the proper security in the first place. They asked several times for more security or to be able to pull out. they were denied Several times.

  41. Furthermore I don’t know anyone who is pro abortion again with the right wing terminology. Unless you are planning on giving birth its none of your business on what a woman choose to do. Reading your comments you are either a troll or just plain ignorant. Take you pick but make up your mind

  42. The Ambassador refused additional security on his trip to Benghazi ebucase he didnt want to attract attention.

    Further, your heros refused to allocate money for security

    Move along

  43. Can you read the double meaning here?

    “LOL Shiva, Typical Dem Drone. Insults are all you are good for.”

    He insults me, then says insults are all I am good for. Gosh

  44. Poor krissy he doesn’t know if he is coming or going. He says he is not a republican but he hit on all their lies and mis information. He says has honor but attacked a fellow Vet. I can give a rats ass but I truly think he is a ignorant and not very well read

  45. YOUR heroes were the ones who left State with no alternative, with all the shutdowns and budget cuts. It’s the same stupid crap as with the VA.

  46. Who left State?

    Its obvious you have no idea whats going on with the VA, nor why McCain just agreed to spending a huge sum of money to hire more doctors and build more clinics for the 2 million extra used up soldiers from YOUR heros wars

  47. I havent a clue, unless he is talking about Wisconsin

    Or maybe he is responding to a post I deleted. I just dont know

  48. Oh Kristopher, I did not attack you in the least. I simply asked you some questions and how can I be ignoring you when I am replying to your post right now?

    I suggested DJ ignore you because you insulted him, which, quite frankly as a former Marine, was most unbecoming. He chose to do otherwise, as is his right.

    He also has infinitely more patience than I do with the serially misinformed and, sadly, you seem to be such a case.

    I won’t say you’re a Republican or a Tea Partier or a Martian – but I know right wing talking points when I read them, and I’m afraid your posts are simply full of them.

    Good day.

  49. NO, that is NOT the bottom line. The bottom line is that you don’t negotiate with terrorists. And a transfer is not a release. Someone transferred from one prison to another, is still a prisoner.
    These 5 taliban dirtbags have been released.

  50. Thats your bottom line. Not every presidents since Washington. You would have been dead silence when these guys would have been released as scheduled in 7 months.

  51. Man the way the Reich is going ballistic you would think these 5 old men who has been tortured for at least 8 years will rampage and pillage the Earth

  52. The initial group released by Bush were thought to be not the worst of the bunch. That means that those remaining were the worst of the bunch. The fact that some returned to do harm only serves to make our point that releasing the five worst for a deserter (or worse) is an idiotic thing and likely done for (shock) political purposes (given Obama’s ratings). Can you imagine if Obama would have gotten his wish and closed Gitmo? We have the most inept administration of all time.

  53. Bush vs. Obama Gitmo release stats (link)
    The numbers of total released (532 vs. 82), the number of confirmed re-engagements (99 vs. 5) and the number of suspected re-engagements (72 vs. 2) are overwhelmingly in Obama’s favor vs the actions of George Bush .

    From The American Taliban

    You are stupid he has been convicted of anything. Get your head out your ass , turn off the TV and do some research for a change. They did teach you how to read being homeschooled didn’t they?

  54. John McCain Has Repeatedly Failed the Commander-in-Chief Test
    In 2003, McCain claimed that “nobody in Afghanistan threatens the United States of America and nobody is running terrorist training camps to orchestrate attacks on the United States of America.” His complacency worsened later that year, when he said before the Council on Foreign

    And now
    Sen. McCain: Prisoners released in exchange for Bergdahl are ‘hardest of the hard-core’ terrorists

    Read more: http://www.wjla.com/articles/2014/06/sen-mccain-prisoners-released-in-exchange-for-bergdahl-are-hardest-of-the-hard-core-terrorists-10370.html#ixzz33zdSh6Hq

    So which is it? Have you lost what little mind you once had? Oh I am sorry you lost that when you picked that uneducated grifter because you thought you saw star burst. Just go away

  55. A full term and a half later and “Blame Bush” still has steam. Nothing more important to a corrupt politician than a gullible electorate.

  56. Well when you screwed up as much as your party did because you wanted to drink a beer with him there is a lot of mess to clean up. Now who is gullible

  57. @djchefron lets not forget it was also the votes of many Dems, like hillary and kerry who got us into that war..he also released that many to pander to libs who wanted to release low level threats and wanted shut gitmo down, it would make sense that there were more re-engagements during bushes term, since the war was at its peak during his tenure.

    But that part of the world has become the hot bed of islamic extremists, and obamas drone attacks in yemen and Pakistan have not helped.

  58. You are right a lot of dummycrats out of fear did vote for the war, against the wishes of the democratic base. So you get no argument out of me about that.

    Now you said low level detainees were release but we do know one who was involved in the Benghazi attack and from the stats I posted a fair amount went back fighting. Of course gitmo should be close. You only have to look at the economics of it. 2.7 million dollars for a prisoner At about 160 still left that’s over 450 million a year. Hell you could lock them up at a supermax for about 70k a year and last I checked no one has ever escaped from Marion or the other prisons we classify as a supermax.

    As for drones while people may find them distasteful one thing you cant argue with is you don’t have to read is HOW MANY American Men and women died engaging the enemy. And that’s a win win. Now since we do know that religious fanatics have been on the rise and it didn’t start with drone attacks and we did help arm them the best thing IMO is get out. Its not worth it. Especially at 10 million dollars an hour. Bin Laden is dead. His terrorist group is in shambles so they are not the threat they were 13 years ago. Are main concern should be on Pakistan and the nukes they have. But that’s a whole other discussion that it has to have its own thread

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