This morning on ABC’s Good Morning America, Rudy Giuliani spent an entire segment attacking President Obama’s counterterrorism policies. In the middle of the rant, the former New York City mayor and failed presidential candidate called closing Guantanamo “totally absurd” and said that calls to close it were merely efforts to criticize President Bush:
GIULIANI: If he recognizes we’re at war with terror, a lot of things follow from that. They’re enemy combatants. They’re not just mere domestic criminals. Then we don’t close Guantanamo. I mean it’s totally absurd.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He seems to be putting it off for some time.
GIULIANI: You’re darn right he is. I mean this was a criticism of Bush. It was a pure partisan political criticism. When you look behind it, I know people that have gone to Guantanamo, you do, people I respect including Democrats who tell me Guantanamo is better than half the Federal prisons.
Host George Stephanopoulos then noted that Bush himself had said that Guantanamo should be closed. “Yeah because of the pressure,” Giuliani replied. Watch it:
Beyond Bush, a number of other Republicans have called for Gitmo to be closed, such as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. In fact, Centcom commander Gen. David Petraeus — who had reportedly once described himself as a Republican — has succinctly laid out the reasons why it’s, in Giuliani’s words, “totally absurd” to keep Guantanamo open:
PETRAEUS: Gitmo has caused us problems, there’s no question about it. I oversee a region in which the existence of Gitmo has indeed been used by the enemy against us. We have not been without missteps or mistakes in our activities since 9/11. And again, Gitmo is a lingering reminder for the use of some in that regard.
Given Giuliani’s loose relationship with the facts, his attacks on Obama’s counterterror policies are truly “pure partisan political criticism.”