House Republican leader John Boehner criticized president Barack Obama's decision to close Guantanamo Bay. Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press, Boehner repeated the dubious statistic that 61 detainees released from Guantanamo Bay had once again become terrorists.
"We've already found 61 of those we released back on the battlefield," said Boehner.
A study published by Seton Hall Law Professor Mark Denbeaux on Jan. 15 finds the Pentagon wrongly altered its figures on terrorist 'recidivism' 43 times, with the latest figure being "the most egregiously so."
UPDATE: John Amato
David Gregory was horrible in this segment. it was a standard Q&A session that allowed Cryin' Boehner to get away with his talking points.
Sen. Charles Schumer told Fox's Chris Wallace that he could support limited prosecution for Bush officials that participated in torture or broke other laws.
WALLACE: Let's turn, if we can, to foreign policy. We were talking with John McCain about this question about investigating what went on the last eight years. Speaker Pelosi told me last week that Congress doesn't have the right to ignore what went on the last eight years, if there was law breaking. As we said, the Attorney General designate is leaving that possibility open. You heard John McCain just say that's the worst we could do, try to look back at the past eight years and try to second-guess what a bunch of people in the intelligence field did. What's your feeling on this issue?
SCHUMER: My feeling is generally that of president Obama -- that we should be looking forward, not backward. How do we correct the mistakes of the past and how do we keep ourselves secure and preserve vital liberty. If there are egregious cases, I don't think you can say, blanket, no prosecutions. If there are egregious cases, yes, you have to look at them. But overall, the tone of Barack Obama and Attorney General Holder -- I've spoken to him privately on this as well as what he said at the hearing -- is not to spend too much of our time, a lot of our time looking backward and pointing fingers. It's rather going forward and making the policy better in the future.
I've already posted one example of this, and now here's a second one I happened across. Zach Wamp went on Washington Journal and repeated the CBO stimulus lie debunked by the HuffPo. This is going to be an ongoing theme and the subject of more posts here at Video Cafe until these guys quit repeating this lie.
The panel of Bob Woodward, Kelly O'Donnell, Anne Kornblut and Howard Fineman making excuses for the Obama administration and Congress if there are no prosecutions for torture committed by the Bush administration.
Matthews: How do you read that...what he just said?
Woodward: No. In other words he's not going to, he doesn't want investigations. I mean if, first of all in some of these things, it's so ambiguous and uh, he has got to get beyond the past. He does not want to create the feeling, which in a sense this week he did create by saying he's going to close Guantanamo, that the war on terror is over. It is not over. What he said is some of the tactics, namely torture and harsh interrogation tactics are gone but the war continues and if there is a, some sort of perpetual investigation of these things the message will be we're going soft and I tell you those in the intelligence world and the military and I think Obama himself doesn't want to send that message.
Matthews: Well let's talk about the Republicans on the Hill. What are they worried, aren't they trying to hold Eric Holder's feet to the fire and say "Promise you won't launch an investigation as our new Attorney General".
O'Donnell: Well one of the problems is if they do dig back into all of these things you do lose some of the Republicans support and President Obama's trying to reach out. You also reinforce what detractors of the Bush/Cheney years already think. So there's very little political upside. And so Eric Holder has been certainly tested and they definitely, Republicans definitely want to be able to feel like they can stick with their strong principle of defense without having to worry about digging back into some of those things.
Matthews: Yeah. Anne obviously the people on the left, the netroots people, John Conyers up on the Hill, they want action. They want some kind of at least an extra-legal kind of truth and reconciliation commission like you had in South Africa that doesn't prosecute but does investigate.
Kornblut: And yet we haven't heard any signal from Obama or the White House itself that they would authorize that, encourage it. Even something that would be as sort of as benign as a truth and reconciliation commission, every indication is they want to leave that to reporters, historians. They want to move on, you know the Hill can do what the Hill can do, but they're not behind it.
Matthews: Well why did we prosecute people at Abu Ghraib for abusing prisoners if we're not going to prosecute people who may have authorized that kind of treatment?
Fineman: It is an issue. But Obama has to run the country and he and the leaders of the Democratic Party on the Hill have said "It's not worth the cost". I mean I know that Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate wants no parts of this. Whatever John Conyers is going to do on the House side, he's going to do and you'll hear a lot of noise from him and maybe some investigations. But it's not going to be backed up by the Democratic leadership in Congress. It just isn't.
Woodward: Well who would you investigate and prosecute? I mean the people who did these interrogations and so forth believed with good reason they had authority from the President.
Matthews: They had orders.
Woodward: Now you know it's too late to impeach Bush. It's over.
On Hardball while discussing the Obama administration's proposed stimulus package, Brian Bilbray cites a report by the CBO saying much of the money would not be spent until after 2011. As reported by the Huffington Post, it turns out that report by the CBO does not exist. I can't believe it. Republicans just making crap up again. I'm shocked! Heh.