Analyzing the dangers of Guantanamo Bay transfers

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 9, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: FACTOR "Follow-Up" segment tonight, as you may know, President Obama vowed when he was elected in 2008, to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. That has not happened. Currently, there are 55 detainees accused of committing terror acts still being held there. And President- elect Trump vows he will not close Gitmo. According to analysis by the Director of National Intelligence, President Bush the younger released 532 men being held on terror charges.

About 35 percent of them, a pretty big number, are either suspected or confirmed of going back to terrorism. As of July, 2016, President Obama released 161 terror detainees. 12.5 percent of them are either confirmed or suspected of going back to the dark side.

Joining is now from Philadelphia, Dr. James Mitchell, author of the book, "Enhanced Interrogation: Inside The Minds and Motives of The Islamic Terrorists Trying to Destroy America." So, the percentage under President Obama, going back to terrorism, much lower than under President Bush, Doctor, why?

JAMES MITCHELL, PH.D., INTERROGATED TERRORISTS FOR THE CIA: Well, my impression is that it probably is because it's just the length of time. The people that Bush released were quite some time ago. And I think it takes a little while for the effects of being in Guantanamo to wear off and for them to get back into their old behaviors.

O'REILLY: You know, I heard from, you know, I have been to Guantanamo Bay twice. I heard from some folks there that when a terror detainee is released and sent back to the Middle East, that they are under suspicion as possibly being a double agent, and so they can't go right away back to the battlefields. Is there any truths to that?

MITCHELL: I think that probably is true. Because there are going to be suspicious. Because my impression is that that is probably where double agents would come from, or at least you would suspect they would come from, if you are part of a terrorist organization. It would be very suspicious of people who were supposed to be held indefinitely who suddenly showed up again on your doorstep.

O'REILLY: Now, there are 55 left. And they are the worst of the worst, right?

MITCHELL: Right. I looked at those. And the people who are left are people like explosive experts, people who are experts in chemicals and poisons, people who are experts in surface-to-air missiles, and RPGs, and trained assassins, and mountain and urban warfare instructors. So, they really are pretty horrible people.

O'REILLY: Khalid Mohammed is still there, right?

MITCHELL: Yes. KSM is still there.

O'REILLY: He is the architect of 9/11. It will be interesting to see if President Obama lets any more of them out in the next 11 days. Do you anticipate that?

MITCHELL: I'm hoping he doesn't do that. I think you'd be a horrible mistake. Especially, if he does what I think I had heard them say where they were going to return them to the countries of origin. Because the most of these folks are Yemeni. And if you drop them in the middle of Yemen, a failed estate, where there, you know, kind of a civil war, that I can't imagine they would do anything except go back to being a jihadist.

O'REILLY: Now there are Americans who say that unlimited detention without military tribunal court is basically against human rights. And you can't keep these people forever unless you adjudicate them on some level. Do they have a point?

MITCHELL: I think they have a point. I think the people who have been involved in killing Americans, especially like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and the other folks that was associated with 9/11, should have had a military trial. And they should have already had their sentences carried out.

O'REILLY: Do you know why that didn't happen? Because I have called for that, as well. I have called for those military trials. Even Bo Bergdahl, we can't get a trial on him. Why? What is a problem?

MITCHELL: Well, I think the problem is really with the Obama administration. You know, he pled guilty to all of those crimes, including killing Daniel Pearl. And then the Obama administration set it aside. And let me tell you what that guy thinks. I spent a lot of years with KSM. And what he thinks is that is a sign from his God that what he needs to do is carry out the Jihad in the court, so he can pull out other people to it. So, instead of doing what I think President Obama thought he was doing, what he was actually doing is giving those guys hope that they would be able to recruit more people by dragging this out as long as possible.

O'REILLY: All right. Doctor, we appreciate it. Thank you.

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