Judicial Watch reports that Hezbollah commander Ali Mussa Daqduq, who tortured and killed 5 U.S. soldiers in Iraq and was detained by U.S. forces in early 2007, will be freed by an Iraqi court–the inevitable, and predictable, result of an Obama administration decision to hand him over to Iraqi authorities rather than bring him to Guantanamo Bay.
Judicial Watch summarizes the pathetic abdication of justice by the Obama administration:
We all knew this would happen back in December when the commander-in-chief handed over the Lebanese militant, Ali Mussa Daqduq, to Iraqi officials. A mainstream newspaper presented it as a “dilemma” for the president as American troops prepared to exit Iraq. Daqduq had been in U.S. military custody in Iraq since 2007 for his involvement in a carefully orchestrated plot that killed, kidnapped and tortured American military officers.
The atrocities took place in a city called Karbala, south of Baghdad in early 2007. Around a dozen terrorists dressed in U.S. military uniforms opened fire on Americans after approaching a camp in five sports utility vehicles resembling U.S. transports. One U.S. soldier died at the scene and four others were kidnapped, tortured and executed. Daqduq, a Hezbollah commander, was the mastermind.
But President Obama didn’t want to remove the terrorist from Iraq without permission from the country, in order not to violate its sovereignty. He also refused to take Daqduq to the U.S. Naval base in Guantanamo Cuba, which houses other high-value terrorists, because the facility is an anathema in the Middle East and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki would not approve the “unacceptable” Guantanamo option.
So Obama handed Daqduq over to the Iraqis even though several members of congress pointed out that it would be the same as freeing him. Apparently, Iraq pinky promised to hold him accountable for murdering our soldiers. No one, probably not even Obama, really believed that and this week a national newswire story confirmed it.
As noted by Judicial Watch, the Obama administration belatedly tried to launch a prosecution of Daqduq–which will never happen now that the Iraqi legal system has freed him and closed off the possibility of extradition.
In 2011, the Obama administration blamed George W. Bush for the dilemma, saying that the U.S. was required to hand Daqduq over to Iraqi authorities under an agreement President Bush had negotiated. However, Daqduq is a native of Lebanon, not Iraq, and critics have argued that he is not covered by the agreement.
Furthermore, the Obama administration could have negotiated for a continued, smaller U.S. presence in Iraq–as recommended by military leaders, and even by Iraqi leaders–but pursued the talks only halfheartedly as the President sought to accelerate U.S. withdrawal for political reasons.
That, in turn, meant the U.S. had no way to ensure that Daqduq would be brought to justice, either within the U.S. military justice system or in the Iraqi legal system. This is a travesty for which President Barack Obama is directly responsible.