Dennis Blair: Chance Guantanamo Detainees Return to the Battlefield a ‘Price Worth Paying’

By Curt Villarosa

May 26, 2013 1:36pm
abc roundtable1 this week jt 130526 wblog Dennis Blair: Chance Guantanamo Detainees Return to the Battlefield a Price Worth Paying

ABC News

Below you can find some of the notable comments made Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” Our powerhouse roundtables guests included Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.; DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.; former Director of National Intelligence Ret. Admiral Dennis Blair; New York Times national security correspondent Mark Mazzetti; ABC News Senior National Correspondent and Fusion White House Correspondent Jim Avila and Politico senior political reporter Maggie Haberman

Blair says chance of Guantanamo detainees returning to the battlefield is ‘a price worth paying’

BLAIR: I think conditions in Yemen have changed from that time to the point that those – and I think there were almost 100 Yemenis… whom our review determined were in fact not a threat anymore. Ought to be sent back to, ought to be sent back to Yemen. The history is that about a fifth of those whom we released in the past go back to the battlefield. So we are taking a chance that some that we release will try to kill American servicemen or Americans. But I think that is a, in the current situation, is a price worth paying, and that price goes down all the time as time goes by.

King charges Obama’s ‘moral tone’ in drones speech ‘misplaced’

KING: If [the drone program] does change, it shouldn’t change for moral reasons.  That’s what bothered me about the president’s speech.  This moral anguish thing he was going through…I think our country has done more than any country in the history of the world to limit civilian casualties.  So I think that just offended me, that whole tone of it…I think this policy basically has worked and perhaps we can fine-tune it, we can put more emphasis on clandestine activity, or actually gathering intelligence rather than relying so much on drones. But to me, I don’t think the president really addressed that in the speech. I think he was coming at it with a moral tone, which I just think was misplaced. I think it’s uncalled for.

Wasserman Schultz believes Gitmo’s problem ‘incites our enemies’

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: We have 166 individuals who, it cost $150 million to hold. The problem with Guantanamo, and the president believes rightfully, is that it incites our enemies.  It puts our intelligence officers overseas and members of our armed forces in jeopardy, because it’s used as a rallying cry.

Avila suggests immigration is the ‘only way’ to get back Latino support

AVILA:  The Democrats have a huge, a lot at stake. They promised, they’ve received support from the Latinos in particular. And the Republicans in order to continue to be [a] national party in this country, have to somehow get back some of that Latino support and immigration is the only way to do it.

Haberman says Anthony Weiner’s mayoral chance is ‘very, very, very slim’

HABERMAN:  He has a chance because this field is pretty lackluster and nobody is capturing the imagination of the public. But I have yet to meet a single political professional who thinks that Anthony Weiner is going to be the next mayor. So he has a chance, but a very, very, very slim one.

RADDATZ:  And you think he’ll change? Do you think he’ll be the same old Anthony Weiner in this campaign? Or the same kind of cantankerous guy? Or Mr. Apology?

HABERMAN:  He’s already been the same kind of cantankerous guy once he’s dispensed with the 20 seconds of apologies. So I don’t think he’s changed very much, no. I think it’s the same Anthony Weiner.

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