Aftermath so far
A report released by Pentagon official's days before Obama took office claimed roughly eleven percent of the prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba returned "terrorist activities". The Pentagon refused to say how they came up with this number. But considering "terrorist activities" could mean anything from lowly support levels to real acts. Regardless, the numbers are suspect due to past claims by the pentagon. You gotta love the timing though, just days before the man who said he would shut down Guantanamo Bay took office (25 ).
Of more than 530 detainees transferred from the U.S. base in Cuba, 27 are confirmed and 47 suspected of "reengaging in terrorist activity," according to a written Pentagon summary. The total of 74 has more than doubled since May 2007, when the Pentagon said about 30 had gone back to terrorist activity, and increased slightly since January, when the figure stood at 61 (26 ).
When Obama took office Guantanamo Bay, Cuba had more than 240 detainees. In the fall of the same year 90 had been approved for transfer to another country and 40 had been referred for trials before military tribunals or federal criminal courts (27 ).
Just about two weeks after he left office former Vice President Dick Cheney said the Obama administration is "more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans.". He repeated the 11 percent number. A study by Seton Hall University said "four or five percent" people released from Guantanamo Bay have returned to extremist activities (28 ).
The first Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge was pressured by the Bush Administration to raise the terror threat level on the eve of the 2004 presidential election. A move he rejected because of the political undertones(29 ).
A major shift away from Bush anti terror polices seems to be happening with the Obama administration. President Obama ordered terror suspect Ali Saleh Al-Marri out of military custody and into the criminal justice system. Ali Saleh Al-Marri is charged with supplying material support to Al Qaeda. This could be the signal to the end of open ended detentions and harsh interrogation techniques to any charged with terrorism (30 ).
An analysis of the pre Obama administration
A news report in 2008 said since 2001, al Qaeda has conducted a greater number of attacks across a larger geographic area than at any time in its history. "We find it hard to agree that al Qaeda has been significantly weakened since Sept. 11, 2001," says Seth Jones, coauthor with Martin Libicki of the report titled "How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering al Qaeda." (31 ).
Before Obama was in the White House he served in the Congress. He said the following of the Patriot Act, "And if someone wants to know why their own government has decided to go on a fishing expedition through every personal record or private document - through library books they've read and phone calls they've made - this legislation gives people no rights to appeal the need for such a search in a court of law," and "No judge will hear their plea, no jury will hear their case. This is just plain wrong." (32 ).
It now appear on many grounds Obama is having a change of heart on many aspects of the War On Terror.