South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (R) is blasting the Obama administration over its handling of Guantanamo Bay. Graham told Fox News' Catherine Herridge...
"And let me just say the president, quite frankly, has screwed this up. You know, he announces on the first day of his being inaugurated that he's going to close Guantanamo Bay, and he didn't do the hard stuff. And I've been talking with him for months, about this is-you gotta think this thing through!"
The White House has offered this response to Graham's comments.
"I would note that the President established an interagency task force at the beginning of the administration to carefully review the evidence and intelligence relating to each detainee. The previous administration succeeded in prosecuting only 3 detainees in more than 7 years. This administration is committed to pursuing swift and certain justice wherever possible for those at Guantanamo who have killed Americans, committed acts of terrorism or enabled others to do so.
Much progress has been made. With the assistance of our allies, 25 detainees have been transferred to other countries, some of which had been ordered released by the courts years ago. Our friends and allies have accepted or agreed to accept more than 20 of the remaining detainees at Guantanamo who cannot be sent home due to humane treatment concerns, and are seriously considering taking others. One detainee who has been charged with killing more than 200 people in the 1998 bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania has been transferred to stand trial in a federal court. The President’s proposed reforms to the military commission system, which will establish a sustainable legal framework recognized by the courts, passed Congress with bipartisan support.
Also note that when that Task Force began its work they found that the previous administration had failed to establish a consolidated repository of such information. So the Task Force began the difficult job of collecting this data from various federal agencies and building – for the first time – a unified database supported by a dedicated, stand-alone network."
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Mike Emanuel currently serves as chief congressional correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). He joined FNC in 1997 as a Los Angeles-based correspondent.