‘Gitmo’ must keep prisoners

Most of the 166 prisoners being held at the U.S. prison at the Guantanamo Bay military base are more than “terrorist suspects,” the term used often to describe them. They are hardened Islamic militants whose primary goal in life is to kill Americans.

Once again, President Barack Obama has said he wants to close the prison at “Gitmo.” He claims there is no justification beyond “politics” for keeping it open.

Actually, there are several very good reasons to continue operating the prison. First is that Obama’s administration has no solid proposal for what to do with the inmates.

Some of them would be shipped to Yemen, where it is entirely likely many would return to lives of Islamic terrorism. Of the scores of prisoners taken to Guantanamo Bay, then released since Sept. 11, 2001, between one-fourth and one-third are known to have resumed working with al-Qaida or other terrorist organizations.

One claim made by Obama is that al-Qaida uses Guantanamo Bay as a recruiting tool. Can any realistic observer doubt that if prisoners are transferred from there to another prison, perhaps in the U.S., that facility would not be “a recruiting tool,” too?

Conservatives in the House of Representatives have vowed to block Obama’s plan to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. They are right to do so.