Update: In what I suspect may be related news, a Saudi citizen who has been cooling his heels in Gitmo for more than a decade has been shipped back to Saudi Arabia. He's but one of a handful of the incarcerated who've been sprung this year:
"In the past two weeks, the Department of Defense has transferred seven detainees. These transfers include both the first Yemenis since 2010 and two transfers involving detainees made eligible by the Periodic Review Board process.
A total of 13 detainees have been transferred this year. This strikes a responsible balance and reflects the careful deliberation the Secretary of Defense brings to the transfer process, and follows a rigorous process in the interagency to review several items including security review prior to any transfer," said Mr. Paul Lewis, Special Envoy for Guantanamo Detention Closure In accordance with statutory requirements, the secretary of defense informed Congress of the United States' intent to transfer this individual and of his determination that this transfer meets the statutory standard. The Periodic Review Board process was established by the president's March 7, 2011 Executive Order (EO) 13567.
The United States is grateful to the Government of Saudi Arabia for its willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The United States coordinated with the Government of Saudi Arabia to ensure this transfer took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.
Today, 142 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay.My question: was this one reason Hagel was pushed out--because his release of Gitmo prisoners was too laggardly for an Oval Office that has been itching to close the joint a.s.a.p.?
Update: No wonder Hagel was unceremoniously shown the door. His propensity for telling the truth made him a total misfit in President Pinocchio's White House:
Departing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel may have sealed his exit in this interview with Charlie Rose last week. Rose conducted the interview at the Pentagon.
In the interview, Hagel made two key points that serve as accusations that President Barack Obama is mismanaging the United States military and the ISIS threat.
Rose asked Hagel to elaborate on comments that he made in a speech at the Reagan Library last weekend. In that speech, Hagel said that America’s military capability, while still the best in the world, is being threatened.
Hagel re-iterated that to Rose, but also left viewers to wonder about the direction that President Obama is taking the military.
“I am worried about it, I am concerned about it, Chairman Dempsey is, the chiefs are, every leader of this institution,” Hagel said, including Pentagon leadership but leaving both President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s names out of his list of officials who are worried about the U.S. military’s declining capability. Hagel said that the Congress and the American people need to know what while the U.S. military remains the strongest, best trained and most motivated in the world, its lead is being threatened because of policies being implemented now.
Hagel went on to note that a good leader prepares their institution for future success, saying that “the main responsibility of any leader is to prepare your institution for the future. If you don’t do that, you’ve failed. I don’t care how good you are, how smart you are, any part of your job. If you don’t prepare your institution, you’ve failed.”