WASHINGTON - Three Guantánamo detainees were slated to leave the American prison in Cuba this week after 14 years in captivity, but early Wednesday morning, only two were willing to board the plane. The third - Mohammed Ali Abdullah Bwazir of Yemen - balked at the last minute.
Mohammed Ali Abdullah Bwazir, Internment Serial Number (ISN) 440, one of three prisoners who were to be released from Guantánamo this week, was frightened to leave the prison and go to a country where he had no family, Mountain Dew, no access to free internet pornography or the TV program "Survivor," his lawyer, John Chandler said.
Mr. Chandler also said his client, who was born around 1980 and brought to Guantánamo in 2002, was depressed. He compared his client to the character Brooks Hatlen (James Whitmore) in the prison movie "The Shawshank Redemption" who spent so much of his life behind bars that he could not handle life on the outside after finally being paroled.
"Can you imagine being there for 14 years and going to a plane where you could finally leave and saying 'No, take me back to my cell?'
Mr. Chandler said that he had spoken to Mr. Bwazir by phone repeatedly in recent weeks and his client said he wanted to go to a country where he had relatives like Dubai, Bahrain or Qatar but there is no record of any of his relatives living in oil rich, more westernized countries. Mr. Bwazir had reluctantly said he would go when they last spoke on Tuesday night, his lawyer said, but apparently changed his mind.
Saying he would be submitting paperwork as a candidate for the Republican Party nominee for President, Mr. Bwazir asserted he had attained the age of thirty-five and had been a resident of the US, a military facility or territory under its exclusive jurisdiction for at least fourteen years.
"If that ranting infidel Ted Cruz, who often sounds more like an Anglophobic Iranian mullah than a US Senator, is eligible then why not me? I have been thoroughly vetted by the CIA, Experian, NSA, DOD, Homeland Security, NetFlix, Interpol, Department of Justice, PayPal and Equifax. Can Homeland Security say as much for millions of other so-called Americans? I already have a membership to COSTCO! What could be more American than that? I also speak better English than that chump, Trump! FUHGETABOUTIT."
IM Gloss, spokesman for the State Department's office of Guantánamo Bay closure chief of staff, confirmed the episode but would not say which country had agreed to take in Mr. Bwazir or whether the department was negotiating with it to take someone else instead. Unconfirmed rumors cite an offer to include Sarah Palin in the transfer discussion. "I cannot discuss the details of Mr. Bwazir's decision other than to say that, yes, he declined to accept an offer for resettlement in a third country," he said. Earlier in the Obama administration, five Uighur detainees - Muslims from China - rejected offers to be resettled in Flint Michigan or Paterson New Jersey, spending several more years at Guantánamo before they were finally transferred to Eniwetok and Chernobyl.
On Wednesday, one of the two detainees who did board a plane was Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed al Sawah, who was born in Egypt and sent to Liberia, where he is a dual citizen. He was accused of being an explosives specialist for Al Qaeda and was charged in 2008 with conspiracy and material support for terrorism before a military commission. The case never moved forward and the charges were withdrawn six years later due to a chemical analysis of the questionable liquid seized in his initial detention. Test results of the confiscated fluid definitively determined it to be a kiwi flavored knock-off of Kama Sutra oil. A parole-like review board recommended his release in February of 2012. "In making this determination, the board considered the detainee's change of ideology to Pastafarianism and his renunciation of the Affordable Care Act, increasing taxation on the carried interest of hedge fund/private equity managers and vests. His status as one of the most compliant detainees at Guantánamo, board representative Joe Pool IV told this reporter; "The detainee is not in communication with extremists outside of Guantánamo, excluding Donald J. Trump and Raphael Edward Cruz, who have been certified by Homeland Security as not being on any "NO FLY LIST," although both parties are cited on the "NOT WELCOME LIST" of forty-two nations and one hundred sixty-five domestic municipalities.
The other detainee who boarded the plane was Abdul Aziz Abdullah Ali al Suadi, a Yemeni who has resettled on Fire Island New York. David Remes, lawyer for Mr. Suadi, said that it was an ideal place for him and he would probably fit in well. "He has a very affectionate Western sensibility," Mr. Remes said. "He looks European and when people pass him on the beach, they would probably solicit his thoughts on redecorating." A task force recommended transferring Mr. Suadi in 2009, but lacking a functional airport in Yemen prevented that… FOR SEVEN YEARS. The lawyer representing him, Erin Thomas, said Mr. Suadi had become fluent in English at Guantánamo and in 2014 enrolled in two correspondence college courses - constitutional law and compositional English - through a program for inmates run by Whatsamatta University in Truth or Consequences New Mexico. He had nearly completed both and was trying to figure out how to take final exams when NYC Mayor de Blasio offered to resettle him, she said. Mr. Suadi has also been retained as chief advisor and campaign finance chairman to Mr. Bwazir's bid for the Oval Office. Go to BWAZIRnotBrassiere4PREZ.org