Gitmo is not Al Qaeda's top recruiting tool

During a press conference on December 22, President Obama was asked about the difficulties his administration has encountered in trying to close Guantanamo. The president explained (emphasis added):

Obviously, we haven’t gotten it closed.  And let me just step back and explain that the reason for wanting to close Guantanamo was because my number one priority is keeping the American people safe.  One of the most powerful tools we have to keep the American people safe is not providing al Qaeda and jihadists recruiting tools for fledgling terrorists.
 
And Guantanamo is probably the number one recruitment tool that is used by these jihadist organizationsAnd we see it in the websites that they put up.  We see it in the messages that they're delivering.

President Obama and his surrogates have made this argument before, but they have provided no real evidence that it is true. In fact, al Qaeda’s top leaders rarely mention Guantanamo in their messages to the West, Muslims and the world at large.

No journalist in attendance had the opportunity to challenge President Obama’s assertion. The president should have been asked: If Guantanamo is such a valuable recruiting tool, then why do al Qaeda’s leaders rarely mention it?

Read the rest at The Weekly Standard.

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