Dear Mr. Honorable Obama,
I understand that your plan to remove enemy combatants (terrorists, extreme ideologues, jihadists, freedom fighters, whatever) from Guantanamo Bay has met with some resistance from your less tolerant, crusading Democratic allies in Congress. Like Bush The Great Satan, they too seem to have lost their moral bearings. (When will post-partisanship begin?) At least in the international community your words have not fallen on deaf ears. The Iranians seem not to have noticed your unclenched hand, but the French love you! And I must say that your decision to end waterboarding has changed my mind. (Between you and me, I had smashing new terrorism plans in the works, but that all seems so passé now. Why can’t we all just be friends?)
So in a gesture of my friendship, I want to offer a plan to get you out of the political quagmire you find yourself in. You need a place for your jihadists-formerly-known-as-enemy-combatants but can’t find a place to put them. All of your allies who stood with you on the campaign trail calling for the closure of Gitmo are now going wobbly. My translator calls this NIMBY. Or Namby Pamby. Something like that. Basically, an international terrorist moves in, and there goes the neighborhood – is that it? What has become of basic civil rights in your country? (Although, I have to tell you: I agree with Sen. Feinstein that Alcatraz is just too freakin’ cool – I mean too much of an historic landmark – to be put to such a pedestrian use. Have you never seen Dirty Harry in the The Enforcer?) And then there are the Europeans. Need I say more? I don’t feel like I know where they stand, either. “Close Gitmo, but don’t send those crazy bastards our way.” No Sir, not helpful.
Then there’s Yemen. I see you’ve had some success there. The downside is that once the Enemy-Combatants-NOT hit Yemeni soil, they go right back to enemy combating. Also not helpful. But it did give me an idea. If you’re going to hand them off to Yemen, who just forwards them my way anyway, why not cut out the middle man and let Al Qaeda directly take custody of these Perpetrators of Man-Made Catastrophe?
You have a need and I have a need. You need to get rid of these Martyrs-In-Waiting, and I need more Martyrs! Tell me this isn’t brilliant! We already have the best-in-class facilities to house them – they aren’t just “shovel ready,” they’re already built! I should know, I’ve invested most of my dad’s inheritance into these places. (It would be cheaper if the American drones would quit blowing them up; perhaps we can negotiate on that point later?)
Some have suggested that these facilities aren’t “technically” prisons. Nonsense! They’re whatever we want to call them, right? I too am tired of the old divisive language of the past. What you call “prisons” we call “camps.” Tomayto/tomahto, camp/prison, enemy combatant/righteous martyr, war on terror/war on man-made catastrophe.
Others have protested that we are a “non-state” actor. Again, these words. Non-state? What does that even mean? All I hear is blah blah blah. In any case, it’s an utter falsehood. We have a state. Have you never heard of Pakistan? And, in accordance with the principles of American federal contracting (davis bacon rules not-withstanding), we are “teaming” with a key subcontractor – the Taliban, giving us control of eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan as we strive to establish the Imperial Caliphate of Afhpakistan. We have miles and miles of territory already marked off for new camps/prisons/whatever, ready and waiting for Gitmo’s terrorists/jihadists/enemy combatants/whatever.
I humbly, and excitedly, await your response. (Please keep in mind that if you deny my request, I will consider this yet another crusading act of holy war against me, my people and my lands.) In the meantime, if you have any questions, you can reach me through my handlers in the Pakistani Intelligence Service.
Peace be with you,
Osama bin Laden