Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The "Gitmo-Recruiting-Tool" Argument is Anonymous

Not "unanimous," but "anonymous." Byron York raises a very legitimate concern.

It is widely asserted that Guantanamo has been a key recruiting tool for terrorists around the world. Indeed, it has been asserted so often that the assertion has become conventional wisdom. But what is the source of the conventional wisdom? To hear Sen. Durbin and some of his allies in the Guantanamo debate tell it, the source is Matthew Alexander. Here's the interesting part: Nobody knows who he is.

"Matthew Alexander" is the pseudonym of a man who, according to an online biography, is a former U.S. Air Force officer who "personally conducted more than 300 interrogations in Iraq and supervised more than 1,000." He is the author of a book, "How to Break a Terrorist," in which he describes his part in the interrogations that led to the killing of al Qaeda-in-Iraq chief Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He says he wrote the book under an assumed name for security reasons.

Using an "anonymous" source is not destructive of the argument ipso facto. But:

...when there is a consensus as widespread as the Guantanamo-as-terrorist-recruitment-tool idea is, it's often based on some sort of report, or extensive research, or key document. In this case, it isn't. There are certainly other arguments in line with Alexander's -- for example, former U.S. Navy general counsel Alberto Mora has said there are top U.S. military officers who believe that Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo have been responsible for "recruiting insurgent fighters into combat" in Iraq, and thus the deaths of U.S. soldiers. But a big report that can be studied -- and challenged? There's not one.

Not one. No corroboration, no "peer-reviewed" studies. Zip.

We note the total lack of concern from the MSM.....

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