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December 7, 2010
Kuwait's Gitmo solution: 'Kill them!'
What to do with the Gitmo prisoners? The Obama administration frets and dithers. Kuwait's interior minister has a simple solution: Drop them into a combat zone in Afghanistan -- and kill them!
That's according to a secret diplomatic cable from the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait dated Feb. 5, 2009, and just released by WikiLeaks. The title of the cable from U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait Deborah K. Jones: "THE INTERIOR MINISTER'S REMEDY FOR TERRORISTS: 'LET THEM DIE.'"
Kuwait's creative Gitmo solution came up during a meeting on joint anti-terror initiatives attended by Jones and Kuwait's interior minister, Shaykh Jaber al-Khalid Al Sabah. Touching on terror financing and the Guantanamo prisoners, the discussion was politically incorrect, to say the least.
"Jihad" -- a word the Obama administration publicly abhors because it offends many Muslims -- is used repeatedly in reference to Islamic terrorists when describing the meeting. Jones, moreover, calls four Kuwaiti prisoners "nasty, unrepentant individuals" -- but would nevertheless like Kuwait to take them off the Obama administration's hands, perhaps to be reprogrammed in "rehabilitation centers."
The administration is nevertheless concerned that the Kuwaiti jihadists don't end up like "former Gitmo detainee al-Ajmi, who'd allegedly blown himself up in Mosul following his release to the Kuwaiti authorities," Jones points out. She adds that former Gitmo prisoners from Saudi Arabia returned to the battlefield after being released from Saudi "rehabilitation centers."
Poo-pooing the idea of rehabilitation centers, Shaykh Jaber explains: "I can talk to you into next week about building a rehabilitation center, but it won't happen. We are not Saudi Arabia; we cannot isolate these people in desert camps or somewhere on an island.
"We cannot compel them to stay. If they are rotten, they are rotten and the best thing to do is get rid of them. You picked them up in Afghanistan; you should drop them off in Afghanistan, in the middle of the war zone."
Citing another problem with taking Kuwaiti Gitmo prisoners, the interior minister mentions the "constraints of Kuwait's current legal and political systems" which the Gitmo detainees could exploit.
"You know better than I that we cannot deal with these people," he tells Jones. "I can't detain them. If I take their passports, they will sue to get them back." Indeed, Jones herself notes that Al-Ajmi sued to get his passport back before blowing himself up.
Shaykh Jaber -- "smiling broadly" as the cable tells it -- questions why the U.S. Navy had two weeks earlier rescued seven Iranian hashhish smugglers whose boat was foundering.
"God wished to punish them for smuggling drugs by drowning them," he tells Jones, "and then you saved them. So they're your problem! You should have let them drown."
Shaykh Jaber expressed concerns as well "about terrorist influences from Saudi Arabia as from Iran."
Regarding Iraq, Jones noted that Shaykh Jaber started the meeting by "applauding the 'huge success' of the provincial elections in Iraq and expressing his confidence in the ability of President Obama and the 'super power' U.S. to address current challenges."
What might members of Obama's far-left political base make of all this?
Concluding the cable, Jones observed:
"The Minister was as frank and pessimistic as ever when it came to the subject of apprehending and detaining terror financiers and facilitators under Kuwait's current legal and political framework. Ongoing tensions between parliament and the PM and his cabinet make any changes highly unlikely any time soon. The remaining GITMO detainees remain a particularly thorny issue for the leadership here, who privately recognize the downsides of taking custody and readily acknowledge their inability to manage them but who remain under strong domestic political pressure to "bring their boys home."