'This Week' Transcript: WH Senior Advisor David Axelrod and Sen. Lindsey Graham

We need legal framework to move forward on the war on terror that will keep us safe. And if we get that legal framework, closing Gitmo could be done safely. General Petraeus, our commanders in the field, tell us that this jail called Gitmo is not -- is an image being used against our troops in the field. It hurts our ability to win the war, and our allies will not turn over prisoners to us thinking they may go to Gitmo. But it's just not about KSM coming back into military courts. It's about a legal framework that will allow us to assure the American people these detainees are going to be looked at as warriors, not common criminals.

But back to my basic idea. President Bush said it would be good to close Gitmo. President Obama is on the right track if we do it smartly and safely. And most importantly, our commanders tell us this jail is not being fully utilized. We don't have a place to put prisoners captured in the war on terror. I'd like to create a place that is safe and secure and is within our values. This is complicated. I would look forward to working with the president to create this legal framework, but I want to win this war, and closing this jail safely could help us win this war. But if we're going to dump people into civilian court out of this jail, it would be better to keep it open.

I look forward to arguing with anybody on the other side about the benefits of closing it if you can do it safely, but it's going to take team work, it's going to take working together, and it's going to take listening to our commanders.

TAPPER: Very quick yes or no question. Keeping Guantanamo Bay open, you've said it's a recruiting tool for Al Qaida. Does keeping Guantanamo--


TAPPER: -- open put U.S. lives at risk, yes or no?

GRAHAM: Depends on how you close it. I can't give you a yes or no. If you do what they're doing closing it, we're less safe. If you close it smartly, we're more safe. And allies won't turn over prisoners over to us because they don't want anyone in that jail. There is a better way to start over, with a secure facility within our values that allows us to get better intelligence and fight this war. This is a big issue, shouldn't be partisan. Young men and women's lives are at risk in this war on terror. Let's stop arguing among ourselves about everything and focus on the one thing we should all agree on, come up with policy that allows this country to be safe. Closing Gitmo safely is the right way to go.

TAPPER: Senator Lindsey Graham, thank you so much for joining us today. Have a great rest of your weekend. The roundtable is next, with George Will, Cokie Roberts, Ed Gillespie and Anita Dunn. And later, the Sunday Funnies.



MASSA: Now they're saying I groped a male staffer. Yeah, I did. Not only did I grope him, I tickled him until he couldn't breathe, and then four guys jumped on top of me. It was my 50th birthday.

It's in the townhouse -- we all live together. All the bachelors and me.

I'm going to show you a lot more than tickle fights. That's a crossing the line ceremony. Can you imagine transporting back to this today? It looks like an orgy in Caligula.

The only thing I can do is slit my wrists and bleed out here on -- I'm telling you, I was wrong. I was wrong.

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