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Post Partisan
Posted at 11:09 AM ET, 07/06/2011

Obama’s terrorist ‘catch and release’ policy

This morning The Post reports that a Somali terrorist named Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame was held and interrogated on a Navy ship for more than two months before being flown to New York to stand trial.  The Post reports this morning that he “is the first foreign terrorism suspect captured by the administration outside the United States and moved to this country for trial.” This news comes a week after Vice Adm. William McRaven told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Obama administration has no clear plan for handling captured terrorist leaders if they are caught alive outside the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq. McRaven testified that that “in many cases” suspects captured in secret are taken to a U.S. Navy ship until they can be tried in a U.S. court or transferred to the custody of an allied country, but if neither option is feasible, he said, the terrorist is let go. “If we can’t do either one of those, then we will release that individual,” McRaven told the committee.

Which leaves the obvious question: If Warsame is the first suspect to be transferred to the United States for trial, what happened to the others?

The United States’ top special operations commander told Congress that because the United States has no place to hold captured terrorists we have simply been letting them go.  In his testimony, Adm. McRaven used the phrase “in many cases,” which seems to indicate that not only has this happened, but it has happened in numerous instances. Well, exactly how many al-Qaeda terrorists have been taken into U.S. custody on Navy ships and released by the Obama administration? Who are these terrorists? Where were they captured? Who decided to release them? Where were they released? And what has become of them since?

Until now, it was believed that the administration was not capturing senior terrorists alive outside the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, but simply killing them. Last year, The Post reported that there had been no known high-value detentions by the United States since Obama took office. Now, it appears, we have indeed been capturing such terrorists — and setting them free. If so, this is an outrage. With Adm. McRaven’s testimony, and today’s news, the administration owes the American people — and the United States Congress — some answers, and fast.

By  |  11:09 AM ET, 07/06/2011

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