Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney told the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Wednesday that closing the Guantanamo Bay prison would be a serious mistake, citing the adherence by terrorists to Sharia law and their "obligation to destroy us," as well as the possibility of al-Qaeda members being freed upon transfer to the United States and its deadly consequences.
Gaffney, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration, reminded committee members why Gitmo was built in his opening statement.
"It is because we are at war," he said. "We're at war because others attacked us, and in your wisdom, you here in the Congress gave the authority to fight back … We are fighting, I would suggest, against people who adhere to a doctrine they call Sharia. Not all Muslims do, but those that do adhere to this doctrine believe it is their obligation to destroy us, to force us to submit to their will. That bears directly upon this question of what happens if they are allowed to return to the battlefield, and I think we all agree, recidivism among those who are released from Gitmo is a problem."
Referencing the violent prison assault by al-Qaeda in Iraq Monday, Gaffney said a similar fate could befall a U.S. town unfortunate enough to hold members of the terrorist network if Gitmo closed.
"Are you feeling lucky?" he asked. "Do you want to take a chance? My guess is you will find much more violence inside the federal prison system, not least because these individuals will be engaged in proselytizing their form of Islam, Sharia, inside the prison system, but beyond that you will almost certainly have their colleagues trying to do what was done in Iraq yesterday by al-Qaeda, which is to try to spring them, or at the least inflict harm upon an American community that has the misfortune of incarcerating these people."
Gaffney finally expressed concern that U.S. federal judges could possibly release former Gitmo prisoners if they were transported to federal prisons in the U.S.
"I find that beyond malfeasance were we to go down that road," he said. "It is dereliction of duty. I pray you will not close Gitmo, and I hope that my testimony will encourage you not to do that."
Left-wing advocacy group Code Pink, with members present at the hearing holding pictures of Gitmo prisoners, was predictably angered by Gaffney's remarks:
— CODEPINK (@codepink) July 24, 2013
Gaffney had a quick response:
— Frank Gaffney (@frankgaffney) July 24, 2013
After Code Pink's account tweeted Gaffney was racist, the Center for Security Policy's David Reaboi slammed the group.
.@codepink That's because you're children engaged in an imaginary rebellion against your country, which is a proxy for your parents.
— David Reaboi (@davereaboi) July 24, 2013