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Jihadi recidivism: Not just a Bush thang

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By Michelle Malkin  •  May 20, 2009 07:14 PM

The Left has long ridiculed national security concerns about jihadi recidivism by former Gitmo detainees on the loose. Before Bush left office, the Pentagon reported that 61 former Gitmo residents had returned to the terror battlefield. “Security experts” scoffed. When I talked about the problem in January, the sneering hate mail poured in.

Now, the New York Times grudgingly discloses the existence of a Pentagon report showing that 1 in 7 jihadi Gitmo detainees has returned to terror. The analysis is reportedly being held back by DoD bureaucrats out of fear that it would undermine The One. As Allahpundit notes, the Times story “bent over backwards to emphasize that the delay’s all DOD’s fault.”

They can all keep playing finger-pointing games in Washington. The bottom line is that jihadi recidivism is real, deadly, and no longer just a Bush thang.

The report is the subject of numerous Freedom of Information Act requests from news media organizations, and Mr. Whitman said that he expected it to be released shortly. The report, a copy of which was made available to The New York Times, says the Pentagon believes that 74 prisoners released from Guantánamo have returned to terrorism, making for a recidivism rate of nearly 14 percent.

The report was made available by an administration official sympathetic to its findings who said the delay was creating unnecessary “conspiracy theories” about the holdup.

A Defense Department official said there was little will inside the Pentagon to release the report because it had become politically radioactive under Mr. Obama.

“If we hold it, then everybody claims it’s political and you’re protecting the Obama administration,” said the official, who asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. “And if we let it go, then everybody says you’re undermining Obama.”

…Among the 74 former prisoners that the report says are again engaged in terrorism, 29 have been identified by name by the Pentagon, including 16 named for the first time in the report. The Pentagon has said that the remaining 45 could not be named because of national security and intelligence-gathering concerns.

Do note this:

On Wednesday, Michele A. Flournoy, the under secretary of defense for policy, reminded reporters that many of these now expressing reservations about the transfer of prisoners from Guantánamo had also called for the closing it.

“I think there will be some that need to end up in the United States,” she said.

In other words: Keep your loins girded.

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