Obama Administration Still Trying to Close Gitmo

2012 election is new deadline


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," September 22, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: You remember Gitmo, that sunny little spot in Cuba, where you get three squares and a prayer mat? You don't? Here is why. No one cares anymore, especially the media. Think about it. Back when Bush was president, everyone hated the waterboarding wonderland. Now under Obama the media are OK with Guantanamo Bay, a rhyme there.

Back in the 2008 campaign, Gitmo was Obama's pinata. Now as president, it's his life preserver. He realized Gitmo is the solution when you have no solution, meaning, where do you put enemy combatants when the battlefield is your mall? Even weirder, thanks to drones, we've avoided that question by killing detainees before they're detained. Yet, Eric Holder is still ticked about Gitmo. Earlier in week, he told something called the European parliament this.


ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We will be pressing for the closure of the facility between now and then. That have election, we will try to close it as well, because I think some people have made this a political issue. Without looking at, I think, the real benefits that would flow from the closure of the facility.


GUTFELD: He looked great. Anyway, Eric, who made this a political issue? No one brought it up until you did, and just now in front of the European parliament. And who are they? While it's clear both Obama and America need Gitmo, the European media still finds it unseemly, so I guess Holder just aimed to please. Too bad they can't vote. Hey, Dana, you can't close Gitmo there is no alternative. Didn't Obama just kind of find that out?

PERINO: Well, it is strange he would do it in front of the European parliament. Also that he would say I'm going to -- we'll do it before the election, because that is what you promised last time. It's pretty outrageous.

The recidivism rate of detainees at Gitmo who have gone back, who have been released is about 20 percent. You can't close it until you have an alternative. I'd be willing to listen if they want to propose another alternative, and they haven't done that. Their idea of bringing them here to the United States went over flat with the American people in a bipartisan way.

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: Do you think even the Democrats will support that idea? A lot of Democrats up for reelection will say I don't want the guys in my backyard.

GUTFELD: Countries don't want them.

TANTAROS: There are roadblocks, Congressional roadblocks. The prisoners cannot be released match. The majority of them are from Yemen, because of the violence in Yemen. That is not going away either. Obama politics are strictly politics yet again to rally the base.

JUAN WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: I think you missed the fact from the left people are highly critical of Guantanamo Bay because of the failure to put the prisoners into our criminal justice system and to say America has a system of justice.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: But they have not been complaining. I don't know why you bring this up again. The left resolve OK, that is just going to stay open.

They stop talking about it because it was hurting president Obama so much he had not fulfilled a promise.

WILLIAMS: It's hurting them with the left.

TANTAROS: But not very much.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Sorry. The left seems to be happy they have made their case about waterboarding. That seems to be their issue they've got under their belt. And Gitmo, the recidivism rate is 27 percent if I'm not mistake, happens because Obama lets them out, they go to where they went to.

PERINO: Let's just be fair. President Bush let some of them go, too.

It wasn't him personally, but let them back and they are recaptured on the battlefield. That is not partisan. It's America's problem.

BOLLING: They are giving back to their country and they're not tried, they're not --

PERINO: The countries don't hold them.

GUTFELD: Juan, I have to ask you. Isn't it weird, I think it's good, I think it's good that we're using the drones and we killed Usama bin Laden. But people on the left, even Michael Moore believes the reason we killed Usama bin Laden was because no one wanted to see them go through the system of justice that Eric Holder wanted to do.

WILLIAMS: Not no one, but a lot of people said what happens if one of the guys come before a jury and the jury says innocent? What kind of craziness is that?

GUTFELD: That is a consequence of not treating them like enemy combatants.

PERINO: There is another consequence of just killing them with drones. One of the reasons you capture them is to question them and try to find out so we can connect the dots. That was a problem beforehand.

That's one of the reasons they were questioned and we were able to prevent attacks based on that questioning.

TANTAROS: Think about what this points out, though. The Obama administration, that's a tacit acknowledgment by keeping Guantanamo open that they are validating Bush's policies. They went from trying to bring them from downtown Manhattan to kill teams in Pakistan. That is an admittance that they were wrong. Bush was right.

BOLLING: The problem is capturing them, put them in Gitmo and locking them up in Gitmo doesn't work or provide more intelligence. Capturing them and putting them in Gitmo or waterboarding them or interrogation allows --

PERINO: No, no, no. Eric, that is perpetuating a myth.

WILLIAMS: Now you're going overboard.

BOLLING: Is there anyone who doubts we got Usama bin Laden because of --

WILLIAMS: Yes, I doubt it. Not only do I doubt it, having talked to people who are involved in this, you know what, we could have gotten Usama bin Laden. It was not critical --

TANTAROS: Would you support a domestic trial here?

WILLIAMS: I believe in the American justice system. I know, the problem is you are dealing with dangerous people who want to kill us. I do believe it's important that America prosecute --

PERINO: You would have put Usama bin Laden in downtown Manhattan?

WILLIAMS: Everyone is like the traffic, screw up Manhattan.

TANTAROS: Even President Obama wanted him --

PERINO: Let me set the record straight on something. Not every detainee that went to Gitmo was waterboarded. There were three individuals that were waterboarded.

WILLIAMS: Hundreds of time.

PERINO: Including the bipartisan Senate select committee said that is what helped lead to the prevention of further attacks. It wasn't everybody.

BOLLING: I didn't say everybody. Enhanced interrogation did lead to capture of Usama bin Laden.

TANTAROS: Eric, wishful thinking.

BOLLING: It did. One of the courier bin Laden, the name of the --

WILLIAMS: We would have gotten it anyway, anyway. We would have gotten it anyway.

PERINO: We don't know that.

WILLIAMS: Either way.

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