Are We Safe? Secretary Hagel Says White House Speeding up Gitmo Releases

There have been many questions about the increase in releases from Guantanamo Bay. Just last week, it was publicized that one of the detainees swapped for Bowe Bergdahl is attempting to return to militant activity.

In a rather candid interview, outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told CNN’s Barbara Starr the White House pressured him to increase releases from Guantanamo Bay.



Barbara Starr was surprised that the former Republican Senator was so open regarding the friction on this issue. She pointed to the fact that Hagel is more free to discuss this since his tenure as Secretary is almost over.

“Look, Wolf, I have to tell you, we have covered Secretary Hagel since the day he took office.

He has never publicly been this candid about that pressure from the White House. What is the pressure? We know — and he is now confirming it — that the White House wanted him to move faster on approving the release of detainees from Guantanamo Bay and the White House wanted him to approve more of them.

And Chuck Hagel says, look, I’m responsible for national security on this. I’m not going to sign any of these transfers unless I’m convinced it’s the right thing to do. On the Bergdahl one, he is convinced. He says he still thinks the problem with that one detainee can be handled.

But, truly, Wolf, an extraordinary admission from the secretary in his last few days in office that, yes, he was pressured by the White House.”

Ashton Carter, Obama’s nominee to replace Hagel, will likely face a number of questions on Thursday from the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearings.

What would you ask Ashton Carter on Thursday?

H/T: Hot Air


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