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In a recent high profile interview, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz) accused barack Obama of making a "false charge" in his speech when he declared that

"Meanwhile, instead of serving as a tool to counter terrorism, Guantanamo became a symbol that helped al Qaeda recruit terrorists to its cause.  Indeed, the existence of Guantanamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained."

Transcript of Obama's Guantanamo Bay Speech

Via Politico, Sen. Jon Kyl declared

"When the president said in his speech, the existence of Gitmo probably created more terrorists than ever been held there …. He meant to say that 770 people or more became terrorists because we have a prison in Guantanamo?"

Kyl, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said on "Fox News Sunday" that Republicans have called White House spokesman Robert Gibbs and "asked for information about the charges he'd made in his speech. We haven't heard back yet. This is a false charge."

Kyl added: "It’s palpably false to suggests that the existence of Gitmo has created terrorists, yet the president gets away with that."

Of course, most members here at Dailykos know that Jon Kyl is full of it and that the evidence for the President's statement is insurmountable.  Look for instance to the recent statement of Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen


"The concern I've had about Guantanamo in these wars is it has been a symbol, and one which has been a recruiting symbol for those extremists and jihadists who would fight us. So and I think that centers -- you know, that's the heart of the concern for Guantanamo's continued existence, in which I spoke to a few years ago, the need to close it," Mullen said.

Military Chief: Gitmo 'Needs to Be Closed'

There have been several high profile studies that reach the same conclusion

For instance: Closing Guantanamo From Bumper Sticker to Bluepring

Of course, we are well aware that all of this information is available within easy access in the public domain. Still, isn't  it is possible that Sen. Kyl could have made an honest mistake?

The answer is of course not, Sen. Kyl as Ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security as well as a member of the committee at large during the 110th congress heard countless testimonies from members of the FBI and others in the national security field echoing the president's statements.

One especially prominent example is the Testimony of Retired FBI Special Agent  John Cloonan who presented his testimony for a hearing that did not ultimately occur because of an objection from a member on the floor. For the June 10, 2008 hearing he declared:

There are 3 questions I would like this committee to ponder. Has the use of coercive interrogation techniques lessened Al Qaeda's thirst for revenge against the US? Have these methods helped to recruit a new generation of jihadist martyrs? Has the use of coercive interrogation produced the reliable information its proponents claim for it? I would suggest that the answers are "no", "yes" and "no". Based on my experience in talking to al Qaeda members, I am persuaded that revenge, in the form of a catastrophic attack on the homeland, is coming, that a new generation of jihadist martyrs, motivated in part by the images from Abu Ghraib, is, as we speak, planning to kill American and that nothing gleaned from the use of coercive interrogation techniques will be of any significant use in the forestalling this calamitous eventuality.

Torture degrades our image abroad and complicates our working relationships with foreign law enforcement and intelligence agencies. If I were the director of marketing for al Qaeda and intent on replenishing the ranks of jihadists. I know what my first piece of marketing collateral would be. It would be a blast e-mail with an attachment. The attachment would contain a picture of Private England (sp) pointing at the stacked, naked bodies of the detainees at Abu Ghraib. The picture screams out for revenge and the day of reckoning will come. The consequences of coercive intelligence gathering will not evaporate with time.

Testimony of John Cloonan-June 10, 2008

It is absolutely foolish for Sen. Kyl to pretend that the burden is on the president to produce evidence for something that is stated as a well known fact by non-partisan individuals such as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and that has been provided in a testimony that can be found on the Senate Judiciary Committee's own website.

Originally posted to symphonyofdissent on Mon May 25, 2009 at 02:37 AM PDT.

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