Obama Appears Not to Know the Name of Boston Marathon Bomber


President Obama botched the name of the Boston Marathon bomber on Tuesday while making a statement laying out his plan to close the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which holds enemy combatants considered extremely dangerous to American interests and security.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted last spring of planting bombs with his brother, Tamerlan, at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, which resulted in the deaths of three people and wounded hundreds more in an act of terrorism on U.S. soil.

Obama mispronounced Tsarnaev’s first and last names, as can be seen in the above video, while making his pitch for the closing of Guantanamo, arguing that the Boston bomber and others were "all convicted in our Article Three courts and are now behind bars here in the United States" rather than being sent to the military prison.

The Tsarnaev brothers were reportedly motivated by extreme Islamist ideology to carry out the attack and harm civilians.

Obama made the flub while announcing his plan to Congress to close Guantanamo by moving many of the remaining detainees to foreign countries and transferring the rest of the suspected terrorists, who cannot be moved as they are considered too dangerous, to be relocated to a secure facility in the United States.

The president said keeping Guantanamo open goes against American values and serves as a recruiting tool for terrorists.

Gen. John Kelly, who recently retired as head of Southern Command and was responsible for running Guantanamo, told reporters earlier this year that detainees there receive the best possible treatment.

Critics of Obama’s plan argue there is little mention of Guantanamo in jihadist propaganda and that the facility is necessary to hold and get information from enemy combatants who are members of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

They also cite that the recidivism rate for those released to return to the battlefield is 30 percent, although some administration officials believe that number is too high.

While it is currently illegal to transfer the Guantanamo detainees to U.S. soil, the president is hoping Congress will enact legislation to change that so he can implement his plan.

The Pentagon is looking at the federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado; the military prison in Leavenworth, Kansas; and the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, South Carolina as possible facilities to house the detainees.

Aaron Kliegman

Aaron Kliegman   Email | Full Bio | RSS
Aaron Kliegman is the news editor of the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Aaron worked as a research associate at the Center for Security Policy, a national security think tank, and as the deputy field director on Micah Edmond's campaign for U.S. Congress. In December 2016, he received his master's degree from Johns Hopkins University’s Global Security Studies Program in Washington, D.C., with a concentration in strategic studies. He graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2014 and lives in Leesburg, Virginia. His Twitter handle is @Aaron_Kliegman. He can be reached at kliegman@freebeacon.com.

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