Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) thinks the US should “stay the course” and maintain operations at the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Bush told FOX’s Brian Kilmeade on Thursday “We shouldn’t be closing down Guantanamo,” when asked about President Barack Obama’s effort to close down the prison that was established by Bush’s older, brother former President George W. Bush.
The potential 2016 contender hinted that Obama’s commitment to close the center was jeopardizing U.S. national security, in the wake of the president’s decision to transfer Guantanamo prisoners to Qatar in exchange for the release U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
“Closing it down for political purposes is not the right thing to do….unless there is some compelling alternative, I believe we should stay the course,” he said.
Bush’s statement comes in contrast to the previously expressed wish of his older brother, who said in 2006, “I very much would like to end Guantanamo; I very much would like to get people to a court.”
In 2002, then President Bush sanctioned the establishment of the camp at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in order to house prisoners captured during U.S. military operations in the War on Terror. The center has been marred with controversy as critics decry the denial of due process and claim prisoners have been mistreated and abused.
The younger Bush acknowledged that while transferring prisoners from the camp into the U.S. legal system would be ideal, “we have a real challenge” in trying to execute that.
“I’m not sure there is an easy answer.”
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