Ex-Gitmo prisoner reconnecting with Taliban sparks concerns

K.T. McFarland sounds off


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," January 30, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, to now KT McFarland, who says quit tempting fate then. Lock these Gitmo doors and keep them locked right now.

But they're not doing that, KT, are they?


And what is happening? Of course these guys are going to go back. We have seen in the past that when they open the doors, the Gitmo guys, they have a recidivism rate, as John McCain said, of about 30 percent. So, I'm not surprised.

One, I think there's probably going to be two, maybe more. And why all of a sudden has the administration started redefining who is a terrorist? It's this twisted press conferences they have had in the last week where they have said, well, Taliban, no, they're not really terrorists, they're just armed insurgents.

Why are they saying that? Because they know that the people they're releasing from Guantanamo Bay are going back into the fight, they're going to go back in to join the Taliban and the Taliban are ultimately going to go back into Afghanistan.

CAVUTO: Indeed, something that the Taliban just pulled off in Afghanistan illustrates that point.


CAVUTO: But I will get to that in a second with my next guest.

To on you on this one and who is left at Gitmo. We have got 50 to 80 detainees who have either direct Yemeni connection or are from Yemen, and now, of course,as you know, Yemen is, to put it mildly, in great unrest. What do we do with them?

If the administration is hot to trot to get them out of Gitmo, one middle ground discussed is send them to another country so that they don't go back to Yemen. What is to stop them once they do get anywhere in the Middle East or North Africa to go back to Yemen?

MCFARLAND: There's nothing to stop them. And that's the whole point.

The reason you don't exchange prisoners, the reason you don't let prisoners lose before the end of the war is because they do go back into the fight. We know in the past that Yemen particularly, they may go in the front door of the prison, but they go right out the back door and they get back into the fight.

And now that we don't have even good relations with Yemen because of the coup that they have had just in the last week, there's nothing to guarantee that they don't go back into the fight. I think this all stems from the president's eagerness to close Gitmo. How's he going to close Gitmo? He's going to open the doors.

Once the place is empty of prisoners, then he will say, well, we might as well close Gitmo. The problem is though that they're going back into the fight, and as long as they are in the fight, whether you want to call them terrorists or armed insurgents or freedom fighters, they're going to kill Americans.

CAVUTO: And in the meantime, we have the Cuban government, Raul Castro, saying we want Gitmo shut down, Mr. President.


CAVUTO: And what is more, we want you to pay for fixing up the place because you trashed it on the way out. I read this stuff, KT, and I just can't believe it.


OK, here's the thing, Neil. I think President Obama is a really lousy negotiator, and he better figure it out fast, because when his two daughters become rebellious teenagers, if he has not figured out how to negotiate with them, he is finished.

If you look at the Cuban -- whether it's negotiating with the Cubans, it's negotiating with Iran, it's negotiating over Guantanamo, every single time, the president really has come up short, although he has very good leverage. He just doesn't seem to be able to use it.

CAVUTO: I don't know. I'm missing something on this Cuban deal, but I digress.

KT, it's always a pleasure. Thank you very much.

MCFARLAND: Thank you.

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