Upset About Detainee’s Pending Release, Military Families Call White House

By MichaelJames

Feb 21, 2009 12:11pm

Hundreds if not thousands of military families registered their displeasure with the White House last night, expressing their displeasure with pending releasee of Guantanamo detainee Binyam Mohamed, as reported yesterday by ABC News.

Spurred to action by an e-mail alert titled "Obama Releases His First Terrorist!", members of the group Military Families United — some of whom met with President Obama Feb. 6 — called the White House switchboard and comment line to argue that Mohamed should not be transfered to British custody next week, as planned.

In the U.K., Mohamed is expected to be freed, though kept under surveillance.

"President Obama will be releasing a dangerous terrorist, Binyam Mohamed, next week," read the e-mail alert. "Mohamed is a current detainee at Guantanamo Bay and he will soon be free to rejoin the fight to kill innocent Americans. Included in his laundry list of terrorists activities are:

"*Training at various Al-Qaida training camps, where he specialized in firearms and explosives
"*Being taught by senior Al-Qaida leaders how to falsify documents
"*Receiving money by Al-Qaida leaders to travel to the United States
"*Implementing plans to blow up high-rise apartment buildings in the United States
"*Holding meetings with Saif al Adel (a top level al Qaida planner and leader) and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (Mastermind of 9/11 attacks)
"*Attempting to illegally enter the United States on April 4, 2002 but was turned away due to his forged passport"

The White House had no comment.

All terrorism-related charges against Mohamed were dropped in 2007.

Mohamed, who has been in U.S. custody since 2002 and at Guantanamo since 2004, says he was tortured while in Pakistani and US custody. He has claimed that while he did attend al Faruq training camp, that was before 9/11 and he did so to fight in Chechnya. Other parts of his confession, he has said, were made under the duress of torture.

Brian Wise, executive director of Military Families United, told ABC News that "Over 5,000 military families from across the United States responded to an Action Alert from Military Families United about President Obama’s first release of a terrorist from Guantanamo Bay. The White House was inundated with calls from military families, veterans and others who voiced their outrage over President Obama releasing a purported enemy combatant.

“Whether or not he experienced harsh interrogation tactics doesn’t change the fact that he is universally recognized as a terrorist and a threat to America," Wise said. "This man trained in the same camp as some of the 9/11 hijackers, he is a known and proud member of al Qaeda. He is a danger to America and the free world. Honestly, we never thought the president was capable of doing this.”

Wise also expressed displeasure because President Obama had told the families of terrorist victims at that Feb. 6 meeting that he would keep them informed about his decisions pertaining to Guantanamo and related subjects, and the president did not do that in this case, he said.

- jpt

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