Keeping the homeland safe. That's what it's supposed to be all about, in this near-apocalyptic post-9/11 world, isn't it? Isn't that the reason we've spent billions upon billions reengineering the organs of government, created a massive new homeland security department, infringed on the liberties of ordinary Americans in ways unimagined and unimaginable since 2001, invaded nations and sent young men and women to more than a decade's worth of war, and killed and captured hundreds of extremists — including quite a number of them here in the homeland itself — who are hell-bent on doing us harm?
Why is it, then, that fully one-half of Americans feel at greater risk than ever since the Twin Towers fell, the Pentagon was breached, and a plane full of heroes crashed into a remote Pennsylvania field rather than let the hijackers complete their mission, which many believe was to the Capitol or the White House?
Perhaps because the administration just doesn't get it and the evidence at home and abroad is inescapable, even to the great unwashed masses, us "stupid" citizens.
The president and his security team seemed to be asleep at the switch during the rise of ISIS, which, despite what they want you to believe, didn't just spring up overnight like poisonous toadstools in the midst of Syria. The president even played golf after one of its several American victims was beheaded on camera, revealing his tone-deafness to the outrage people all across the country felt.
The president and his secretary of homeland security conspire to violate the Constitution by amnestying millions of illegal aliens, claiming this will bring them out of the shadows and onto the tax rolls, even though it may in fact cost American taxpayers a bundle and despite the fact that we are relying on the aliens to fess up to their true names and identities in the process although many thousands have already shown themselves to be identity thieves or worse.
There is chaos at the border, as shown by the surge of tens of thousands of aliens over the course of many months, and not by any means were all of them women and children, nor innocents, despite what the administration would wish you to believe. Many of them were males in their late teens and early twenties, and a number of them had gang affiliations. Some have gone on to commit horrendous crimes in the United States after being put into the tender care of Health and Human Services instead of being detained and promptly removed.
The insecurity at our border, after years of claims by former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that it was "more safe than ever", came out tellingly when the administration, despite claiming that terrorists haven't crossed our southern border, got caught out by news reports revealing that four members of the PKK — the Kurdish Workers Party, a designated terrorist organization — had been arrested after being smuggled illegally into the United States, quite possibly with the assistance of the notorious, and notoriously violent, cartels that ply their trade in drugs, guns, and humans all along the nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico.
So with that as backdrop, we now find that the administration has released six jihadist detainees from Guantanamo to be "resettled" in Uruguay. Uruguay! Why not just save the time, expense, and excuses and express-mail them straight to the Triple Frontier? Take a look at a map of South America. It's just a hop, skip, and jump away. Haven't heard of the Triple Frontier? It's a troubling brew of crime, contraband, drug smuggling, and document fraud manufactory and a safe haven to jihadists.
Even if these fellows never leave Uruguay, nothing stops them from plotting with like-minded cohorts who can travel to them using some of the excellent counterfeit or altered documents that proliferate the area, with America as a target in mind. Nor is there reason to think they have reformed. A variety of sources tell us that dozens of former Guantanamo detainees have returned to jihad. In fact, Spain has just announced the indictment of a former Guantanamo detainee, Moroccan Lahcen Ikassrien, on charges of acting as a recruiter for ISIS.
And they are not the only likely recipients of this newfound penchant for release-and-resettlement (shades of our southwest border — no detainee left behind!). Other media articles tell us that the Pentagon's Guantanamo review board has recommended that Mahmoud Abd Al Aziz Al Mujahid, Osama bin Laden's bodyguard, be released to Yemen, that happy place that was home to firebrand cleric Anwar al Awlaki until a U.S. drone killed him, and where American hostage Luke Somers and his fellow captive, South African Pierre Korkie, were held and killed by al Qaeda operatives living in the restive tribal regions of the country where the Yemeni government has little or no control. Perhaps on arrival, he can become roomies with fellow associate Salim Ahmed Hamdan, bin Laden's driver, who was sent there by the United States in 2008.
Let's be honest. Guantanamo is a distinctly unpleasant place, it rubs against the grain of our national values, and is an unhappy resolution to a nearly insoluble problem: What to do with such "enemy combatants" when found? But it may be the best of all the bad choices available in a world awash in a sea of ambiguities, asymmetrical threats and hatred for our ways.
It would appear that the president is determined to close Guantanamo before his administration is over, come hell or high water, and homeland security be damned. He sees that as a part of his legacy. What will that legacy look like if it blows up in all of our faces? As we have learned at great cost, there is no dearth of earnest young idiots out there willing to kill themselves and take large numbers of innocents with them.