The John Batchelor Show

Monday 17 July 2017

Air Date: 
July 17, 2017

Co-host: Thaddeus McCotter, WJR, the Great Voice of the Great Lakes
Hour One
Monday  17 July 2017 / Hour 1, Block A: Tom Joscelyn, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies; & Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal; and Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; in re:
Monday  17 July 2017 / Hour 1, Block B: Tom Joscelyn, Long War Journal and FDD; and Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; in re:
Monday  17 July 2017 / Hour 1, Block C: Gordon Chang, Daily Beast and Forbes,com, in re: China and DPRK.
Monday  17 July 2017 / Hour 1, Block D: Arthur Waldron, Lauder Professor of International Relations in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania,  and Gordon Chang, Daily Beast and Forbes,com, in re:  China and DPRK
Hour Two
Monday  17 July 2017 / Hour 2, Block A:  David M Drucker, Washington Examiner, and John Fund, NRO, in re: What on Earth are the Republicans doing?  What are their prospects in this maelstrom?
Monday  17 July 2017 / Hour 2, Block B:  David M Drucker, Washington Examiner, and John Fund, NRO, in re: What on Earth are the Republicans doing?   What’s up with the Democrats? 
Monday  17 July 2017 / Hour 2, Block C: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: The ageing and not-recently-elected Abu Mazen, also no longer much favored by his electorate, and his kleptocracy.  Last Friday Palestinians killed two Israelis at the Lion’s Gate; Israel closed the area to investigate and prevent a possible continuation of the slaughter; reopened it on Saturday. Al Jazeera English and, of course, Arabic, advertised that the evil Israelis had closed the mosque for no reason.
Monday  17 July 2017 / Hour 2, Block D: Indiana Hoenlein, in re: Found: a lovely mosaic of Jonah’s feet protruding from the mouth a fish, who in turn is being swallowed by a larger fish, and he, by yet a larger one.  With bushels of not only theological evidence, ample in the Torah, but also massive amounts of scientific evidence by archaeologists, chemists, and hard scientists of all ilks, UNESCO amazingly proclaims that the entire region has no Jewish history and is merely a Muslim province of note.  Bizarre.
Hour Three
Monday  17 July 2017 / Hour 3, Block A: Josh Rogin, Washington Post, in re: Security
Monday  17 July 2017 / Hour 3, Block B: Peter Berkowitz, Hoover and RealClearPolitics, in re: The distinguished reporter Carl Cannon. American journalism. First female American taxi driver; Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. 
Monday  17 July 2017 / Hour 3, Block C: Jed Babbin, American Spectator, in re: Guantánamo Bay.  AG Sessions visited Gitmo apparently with the intention of sending terrorists there.
There are still lots of “bad dudes” who will be safest there.
One of Barack Obama’s first acts as president was to sign an executive order mandating that the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba be closed. Obama insisted that the Guantanamo Bay facility — Gitmo — was an important recruiting tool for terrorists.
When Obama left office, Gitmo was still open, housing about forty-one terrorists including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the al-Qaeda planner of the September 11, 2001, attacks. Mohammed was captured in Pakistan in 2003 and still hasn’t been brought to trial. Some of the other 9/11 plotters and planners, including Ramzi Binalshib, are also still in Gitmo and have been there for more than a decade.
The “Gitmo Bar Association” — lawyers, many from prominent firms providing free legal services to inmates — has gone to the Supreme Court repeatedly. Their efforts have resulted in decisions bestowing the right of habeas corpus to the terrorists in Gitmo. Moreover, in a nonsensical act,  the Bush 43 administration declared that they were covered by Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions, essentially giving enemy combatants the same rights as POWs.
Before he was inaugurated, President Trump promised to “load up” Gitmo with “bad dudes” from al-Qaeda, ISIS, Taliban and other terrorist networks. On July 7, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein visited Gitmo. The Trump administration is reportedly planning to fill Gitmo with newly captured terrorists.
The question is whether refilling Gitmo benefits us more than the enemy.
President George W. Bush, in his memoir, Decision Points, wrote that “While I believe opening Guantanamo after 9/11 was necessary, the detention facility has become a propaganda tool for our enemies and a distraction for our allies. I worked to find a way to close the prison without compromising national security.”
As Bush wrote, the number of detainees at Gitmo had dropped from a high of 800 to about 250 when he left office. He hoped many of them would still be tried but, “Some of the hardened, dangerous terrorists at Guantanamo may be difficult to try. I knew that if I released them and they killed Americans, the blood would be on my hands.”
He found there wasn’t a way to close Gitmo without compromising our national security. There still isn’t one.
About 110 Gitmo inmates released under Bush are confirmed as having returned to the battlefield. About 120 released by Obama are similarly confirmed as having returned to warring against us.
We don’t — and shouldn’t — know the value of intelligence extracted from Gitmo inmates. But we do know that it was, from the time the prison opened until about five years ago when the intelligence value of long-held detainees diminished, an enormous amount.
Courtesy of the Defense Department, I visited Gitmo in July 2005. I was one of a group of military analysts who write and appear on radio and television to talk about what was then called the “global war against terrorism” by President George W. Bush.
We saw everything. The interrogation rooms where terrorist detainees were milked of intelligence information. The cell blocks — ranging from the minimum security wing where detainees read, played soccer, and exercised to stay in shape — to the maximum security block where they were held in small cells under constant watch. The medical clinics where they were healed, given prostheses to replace limbs lost in battle and the dental clinic where the dentists told us that most of the detainees received the first dental care in their lives. And we talked to the guards, most of whom had suffered being drenched in “the cocktail” — a toxic mix of feces and urine — thrown at them by inmates.
We were briefed by the then-commander of Joint Task Force Gitmo, Army Brig. Gen. Jay Hood. He told us that the detainees were very aware of the media attention given Gitmo. That caused, he said, most of the detainees to believe Gitmo would soon be closed. As a result, many refused to divulge any useful information.
Questioning was done by highly trained military intelligence officers and civilians as well as by the FBI and the intelligence agencies.
Detainees were kept in individual cells. They were given copies of the Koran, which they kept suspended above the floor in surgical masks. Interrogation sessions were interrupted at the times of Muslim prayer, and arrows were painted on floors all over the camp pointing toward Mecca.
After they are imprisoned at Gitmo for many months, a large portion of the detainees cooperated. Some were bribed with chocolate bars and Cokes. Others decided to cooperate with specific intelligence officers and not others. One of these officers, called “mom” by the detainees, was fluent in several of their languages and was able to successfully gather highly valuable intelligence in days, weeks, and months of questioning. Information gained by “mom” and others was actionable in capturing other terrorists and interdicting a large number of terrorist attacks.
By the time I went to Gitmo twelve years ago, allegations of abuse of prisoners were long past. It is probably the most-inspected prison in the world. Many groups, such as the International Red Cross, conduct frequent inspections to assure humane treatment of the inmates.
An Associated Press report last week quoted two former Tunisian Gitmo inmates to the effect that their homeland was a prison that they wanted to escape even if they had to return to Gitmo.
President Bush’s statement that Gitmo was a terrorist propaganda tool was validated many times. One study, by a group called “Human Rights First,” found that Gitmo was mentioned frequently by terrorist group propaganda that lumped it in with the Abu Ghraib prison where abuses did occur. That study didn’t purport to connect propaganda with recruitment.
Another study by the “Lawfare Blog” concluded that Gitmo wasn’t a significant recruiting tool for terrorists. The rise of ISIS also proves that point. ISIS grew quickly from a small to an international terrorist threat. It did so in the same manner that other terrorist networks, including al-Qaeda and the Taliban, grew in the years before Gitmo was opened on the basis of the Islamist ideology and our presence in Muslim lands. Gitmo, as the Lawfare blog concluded, isn’t a significant motivation for people to join terrorist groups.
Even before Mr. Bush’s book was published, . . .
Monday  17 July 2017 / Hour 3, Block D:  Michael Ledeen, FDD, in re: Jews in Sicily; kosher food in Italy. A resurgence of Jewish culture, remarkably, in the absence of many Jews and no synagogue in Catania. France, England, Scandinavia, now all ferociously swamped in anti-Jewishness, but quite the opposite in Italy.   Local Italians now proclaim themselves as Jewish. Why? Because of the Spanish Inquisition: many names of Conversos  now have been published, and Sicilians (and Italians) find their names hereon, begin the process of formal conversion.
Hour Four
Monday  17 July 2017 / Hour 4, Block A: H. W. BrandsReagan: The Life
Monday  17 July 2017 / Hour 4, Block B: H. W. BrandsReagan: The Life
Monday  17 July 2017 / Hour 4, Block C:  John A. FarrellRichard Nixon: The Life
Monday  17 July 2017 / Hour 4, Block D:  John A. FarrellRichard Nixon: The Life
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