But, to return to the prisoner release story---the reporter was describing who these folks are and the activities that got them into Gitmo in the first place. During this portion of the discussion, it was revealed that one of the guys being released had "... failed his rehabilitation program"! His rehabilitation program!?????
That reference stopped me in my tracks so, I rushed right home and Googled it. Imagine my surprise when I found that not only is there such a thing as a Terrorist Rehab Program, but it is run by the Saudis and is located at a former resort near Riyadh. The Care Rehabilitation Center was featured in a "TIME" photo essay by Kate Brooks and, reportedly, features several swimming pools. In the "TIME" article we are treated to a series of photos showing the "rehabilitatees" (to coin a phase) lounging on couches and nearby prayer rugs, chatting in their locker room and talking on the phone to which they have 24 hour access (where is the NSA when you need them?). We also see them in various classes and counseling sessions, and I was struck by the fact that in one photo, there is a dry erase board shown with Arabic writing on it, but there were also slogans written in English. At first I was puzzled at the use of English, but then it occurred to me that this practice would be a big help when the graduates emigrated to the US to form sleeper cells in furtherance of their Jihad. The article goes on to explain that the rehabilitation effort is a "12 step program", which in my view is fairly ironic, given that they are Muslims who, theoretically, don't imbibe, and the 12 step format is famously used by Alcoholics Anonymous. In yet another picture, the rehab candidates are shown at a meal. The menu includes lamb, rice, stuffed peppers and PEPSI! I guess there are some aspects of "The Great Satan's" lifestyle which one can practice without feeling the wrath of Allah.
So, what about the whole idea of rehabilitation for these cats? It's not like they are middle eastern versions of Lindsay Lohan getting wasted on drugs or booze or both and doing stupid stuff. These are guys who think it's OK to decapitate those who either don't follow their religion or have fallen away from it. In addition to being directly involved in combat actions against infidels, they encourage their coreligionists to don suicide vests or pack mini vans with explosives in order to kill as many non-believers as possible. Bottom line---when I think about the recidivism rates we hear about from the intel community, I'm not sure rehabilitation should be in the cards for these guys. Unless of course you believe, with me, that the only permanent rehabilitation possible for Jihadists is by firing squad.