In a speech to the Manufacturing and Business Association in Erie, PA last night, President Bush insinuated that he disagreed with President Obama’s plan to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and try some of the detainees in U.S. courts. “I’ll just tell you that there are people at Gitmo that will kill American people at a drop of a hat and I don’t believe that — persuasion isn’t going to work. Therapy isn’t going to cause terrorists to change their mind,” Bush said. But in June 2006, Bush endorsed a course of action quite similar to Obama’s current plan:
BUSH: I’d like to end Guantanamo. I’d like it to be over with. One of the things we will do is we’ll send people back to their home countries. [...] There are some who need to be tried in U.S. courts. They’re cold-blooded killers. They will murder somebody if they’re let out on the street. And yet, we believe there’s a — there ought to be a way forward in a court of law.
Further, as Jake Tapper notes, Bush’s remark that “therapy” won’t help rehabilitate some of the detainees is surprising given the fact that Bush himself sent approximately 120 former Guantanamo detainees to a Saudi-based counseling center for rehabilitation. 60 Minutes recently reported on the success of the Saudi program.