During a press conference Tuesday at the White House, President Obama renewed his failed promise to close Guantanamo Bay prison [GITMO].
"I continue to believe we need to close GITMO," Obama said in response to a question about a detainee hunger strike currently going on at the prison. "I'm going to go back at it."
Obama said he didn't want detainees engaging in a hunger strike to die, said the prison is a recruitment tool for extremists and that "Guantanamo is not necessary to keep Americans safe."
When he campaigned for President in 2007, Obama promised to close GITMO. Today he pointed to Congress as the reason it is still open and said terrorists have been successfully prosecuted and detained inside the United States.
"Congress determined that they would not let us close it," Obama said.
As a reminder, at least one of the men behind the September 11 Benghazi terrorist attack was released from GITMO and rejoined the Jihad, resulting in the murder of four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Intelligence sources tell Fox News they are convinced the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was directly tied to Al Qaeda -- with a former Guantanamo detainee involved.
Sufyan Ben Qumu is thought to have been involved and even may have led the attack, Fox News' intelligence sources said. Qumu, a Libyan, was released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2007 and transferred into Libyan custody on the condition he be kept in jail. He was released by the Qaddafi regime as part of its reconciliation effort with Islamists in 2008.
His Guantanamo files also show he has ties to the financiers behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The declassified files also point to ties with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a known Al Qaeda affiliate.
The attack on the consulate in Benghazi came just months after President Obama claimed Al Qaeda was "on the run."
UPDATE: As a reminder, 70 percent of Americans want GITMO open.
70 percent of Americans say they approve of President Obama’s decision to keep open the Guantanamo Bay prison. The Post said 53 percent of self-described liberal Democrats and 67 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats support keeping it in operation.
|Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.
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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography