(Bob Unruh, WND Exclusive) -- Some of the most fearsome Islamic terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay now are being treated to Skype visits with their families, and the Washington watchdog Judicial Watch said it apparently is part of a campaign by the Obama White House to vastly expand privileges for the inmates.
Judicial Watch cited the Spanish agency La Prensa, which said two ‘”high-value” detainees in a special top-security wing of the military compound at the U.S. Naval base in southeast Cuba recently had video conferences with family for the first time since their incarceration.
The detainees were identified as Abu Faraj al Libi and Abd al Rahim al Nashiri.
La Prensa reported the Department of Defense is “relaxing its measures at the prison and is willing to make this unprecedented event a regular one as long as it is ‘reasonable.’”
The report quoted Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Myles Caggins III saying, “We have concluded that increasing family contact for the high value detainees can be done in a manner that is consistent with both humanitarian and security interest.”
Judicial Watch reported Libi was the former No. 3 al-Qaida leader and was captured in 2005.
“His Department of Defense file says he’s a high risk prisoner of high intelligence value who served as the operational chief of al-Qaida and had long term associations with Osama bin Laden,” Judicial Watch said. “Al Nashiri, also an al-Qaida operative, is charged with orchestrating the deadly bombing of the Navy destroyer USS Cole in 2000. The USS Cole was the target of a suicide attack while the warship was moored and being refueled in the Yemeni port of Aden. Seventeen American sailors were killed and dozens were injured. The blast occurred when a skiff laden with explosives detonated against the port-side hull of the USS Cole and tore a 40-by-40-foot hole in the side of the stricken ship. It was the deadliest attack against a U.S. Naval vessel since the Iraqi attack on the USS Stark in May 1987 and bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist organization claimed responsibility. Al Nashiri’s DOD file describes him as one of al-Qaida’s most skilled, capable and prolific operational coordinators.”
Judicial Watch explained that since Obama moved into the White House, privileges have vastly expanded for the terrorists incarcerated at Gitmo.
In 2009 Judicial Watch, which has regularly traveled to Gitmo to cover the terrorists’ military trials, reported U.S. taxpayers bought the captives high-tech laptops and computer lessons.
“That brilliant idea is part of a plan to reintroduce the prisoners into a modern society when the president fulfills his campaign promise of releasing them,” Judicial Watch said. “They have been taught to send electronic mail and have received language and basic user skills training to help them find jobs when the leave the military prison.”
Judicial Watch said last year was an especially good one for terrorist rights at Gitmo.
“The administration actually let 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) dispatch propaganda from his Gitmo jail cell, undoubtedly aiding and abetting more terrorism. The manifesto, authored by the enemy combatant who’s admitted being the architect of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil, was 36 pages long and received extensive media coverage worldwide,” Judicial Watch said.
“KSM has boasted of waging jihad against the U.S. and other non-Muslim nations and his Pentagon file reveals he’s a senior al-Qaida recruiter, financier and operational planner for the group’s global terrorist network. The document confirms that KSM was the ‘mastermind of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the hijacking of United Airlines flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania.’”
Judicial Watch reported Obama last year allowed a fighter, Moath al-Alwi, in bin Laden’s 55th Arab Brigade to publish a “sob letter” in an international media outlet describing the “humiliating and brutal treatments” he suffers at the U.S. military compound.
He was bin Laden’s bodyguard and “is described by the Pentagon as a veteran jihadist and fighter.”
The La Prensa report said the Pentagon explained, “We continually seek to go beyond a minimalist approach to humane treatment, and we endeavor to enhance conditions, consistent with security concerns.”
Only weeks ago, it was reported a $65 million building with classroom space for 275 children kindergarten through high school was being authorized at the Guantanamo Bay base.
“That’s nearly a quarter-million dollars per school child,” the report said.
It would serve children of Americans stationed at the base.
One of Obama’s first promises was to close the base. Although it remains open after his six years in office, he has released many high-profile detainees, including five Taliban commanders in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who is suspected of desertion.