Transcript: Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen

But I think the White House was really sending out two signals to different groups. They wanted -- they're trying to split the right and I think they succeeded in doing that. You have got moderate conservatives like David saying really this is more like the Bush policy, this is a good thing. And then you've got the Cheney conservatives on the other side.

And I think Cheney did Obama a huge favor by showing up because civil libertarians and liberals have some real problems with some of these policies, the idea of unlimited detention in a constitutional republic without any due process is a real problem.

And I think Obama is going to have to revisit that. He argues and he has got a point that there are some people who can't be tried and can't be released. Nonetheless, this is not POWs in a normal war.

No one is going to come out and say, of the war on terror, "mission accomplished" any time soon. And I think that issue still sits out there for not just the left, as people say, but a lot of moderate civil libertarians.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, meanwhile, (INAUDIBLE) that seems to unite right and left, Donna, at least in the Senate, is the issue of bringing detainees here to the United States. The president began to make the argument on Thursday, hey, wait a second, we have got hundreds of terrorists in prisons here in the United States, in supermax prisons, yet it was a real rebuke from Senate Democrats, 90- 6. And this is going to be tough to turn around.

BRAZILE: Well, George, they were caught off-guard. They didn't have a strategy to say, wait a minute, we have a detailed plan of how we're going to deal with these prisoners. By the way, who are these prisoners? What's the crime? Will they be charged? Will they not be charged? And then, of course, we have the chorus coming from the right saying -- you know, especially the talk show populists saying not in my backyard. And now they're even having "Club Gitmo" T-shirts. So people are...

(LAUGHTER)

BRAZILE: By the way, they probably don't come in extra large, so I won't be wearing one. But people are out there now, you know, basically going back into campaign mode. And this is all about a serious plan that the president needs to come up with, what to do with these prisoners.

DIONNE: A friend gave me a solution to this last night, California needs a bailout. And none of the states want the Gitmo prisoners. California agrees to take all of the prisoners and then it gets its bailout.

BROOKS: Hotel Bel Air.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

WILL: California is going to release prisoners.

(LAUGHTER)

BRAZILE: To save money.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to get to California in one second, but let me just first ask, David, one more question. You point out this was a bipartisan policy. Guantanamo was a bipartisan policy. How does the president get John McCain, Lindsey Graham, other Republicans back on board to bring detainees into the United States?

BROOKS: Well, he has quoted them quite liberally in order to support that policy. The NIMBY issue is just a tough issue. My sense from the White House is they've written off that issue. They're going to find some way to have a Guantanamo 2. It won't be called Guantanamo...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Maybe build a military prison here in the United States.

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