• This is a rush transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," May 23, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    PAUL GIGOT, FOX HOST: This week on "The Journal Editorial Report"...


    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Rather than keeping us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security.


    The Gitmo debate rages as the current and former administration square off. But are their positions really all that different.

    Plus, drink up this weekend. Congress may slap your favorite beer and kid's favorite soda with a brand new tax.

    And Charlton Heston vindicated. Have Democrats lost the gun control fight?

    "The Journal Editorial Report" begins right now.


    OBAMA: The problem of what to do with Guantanamo detainees was not caused by my decision to close the facility. The problem exists because of the decision to open Guantanamo in the first place.

    FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: The administration has found it's easy to receive applause in Europe for closing Guantanamo, but it's tricky to come up with an alternative that will serve the interest of justice and America's national security.


    GIGOT: Welcome to "The Journal Editorial Report." I'm Paul Gigot.

    The current and former administration squared off this week over national security with a question of closing the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay taking center stage. President's Obama's address at the National Archives Thursday came a day after the Senate voted 90-6 to deny the request for $80 million to shut the prison.

    Joining the panel this week, Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor, Dan Henninger; editorial board member, Jason Riley; and foreign affairs columnist, Bret Stephens.

    Dan, the president obviously felt he needed to give the speech. Did he solve his Guantanamo problem?

    DAN HENNINGER, COLUMNIST & DEPUTY EDITOR: I don't think he did, Paul. What we're seeing here, it seems to me, the difference between the campaign politics and presidential policy. Obama ran during the campaign, saying he would close Guantanamo. It kind of played, it worked. Now, he's president of the United States. He has to fulfill that promise.

    GIGOT: And he announced it right immediately after his inauguration, I'll shut it down in a year. No plan.

    HENNINGER: So then you have the Senate vote 90-6 to deny him funds to do it. He's in a box. He goes out there and spends 60 minutes explaining his policy in which he creates five categories of detainees. Essentially, what he's trying to do is solve the problem with talk and talk alone. He tried to talk his way out of this box. I don't think he's succeeded.