As worries swell
over Al-Qaeda's presence in Yemen, the U.S. has closed its embassy in
that country citing concerns that the terrorist network was planning an
attack on the compound
According to U.S. officials, Al-Qaeda has "grown in strength" in Yemen
and has several hundred members there. However, closing the embassy hasn't
come without controversy. While some say the pullout shows the U.S.
military is spread too thin, others say it demonstrates
weakness and a lack of willingness on the Obama administration's part
to confront Al-Qaeda. Here's the scoop:
- It's a Prudent Step, Plain and Simple, says John Brennan,
President Obama's counter-terrorism chief, on NBC's Meet the Press:
"There are indications that Al-Qaeda is planning to carry an attack
inside the capital of Yemen...Both the U.S. and British embassies have
been closed to give the Yemeni government an opportunity to thwart that
threat in the plans that are afoot right now...We know that they've
been targeting our embassy, our embassy personnel, and we want to make
sure that we do everything possible to safeguard our diplomats and
others that are down there. So that was the prudent step to make."
- It's a Sign of Weakness, says William Kristol
on Fox News: "No one wants State Department officials put at risk, but
that is a sign of weakness." Laying blame on the Obama administration,
the editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine, asks "We can't
protect our own embassy in Yemen, a
place where we have special operations forces? A place we say we're
working with the government on the front lines of the war on terror?
And there's a terror threat, and we close the embassy? That's a victory
for al Qaeda."
- It's a Sign of Imperial Overstretch, writes John Aravosis
at Americablog: "The pot of
money isn't endless. This is the cost of George Bush, and
Joe Lieberman's, war in Iraq. We lost a trillion dollars that we could
have used for lots of other things."
- Whatever It Is, Let's Not Send More Detainees There, writes Thomas Joscelyn at The Weekly Standard:
ostensible ties between former Gitmo detainees and previous attacks and
plots against the embassies in Yemen, it is natural to ask: What role
are former Gitmo detainees playing in the current threats? ...Yet, the
Obama administration is apparently determined to make more
suspect transfer decisions. Just this morning, John Brennan, the
assistant to the president for homeland security and counter-terrorism,
told CNN that
the Obama administration is still committed to transferring Yemeni
detainees to the cesspool that is Yemen."
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
jhudson at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.