Last night, Vice President Cheney’s daughter Liz appeared on a mainstream American television news media outlet, this time on Campbell Brown’s CNN show. During a contentious “Great Debate” segment with Salon’s Joan Walsh, Liz Cheney was trying to argue that bringing Guantanamo Bay detainees to U.S. soil “makes us less safe” and that they should remain where they currently reside.
To make her argument, Cheney also continued her penchant for false claims. At one point in the debate, Walsh noted that military leaders want Gitmo closed and that even President Bush once said it should be closed and that some detainees should tried in the U.S. Cheney, however, disagreed:
WALSH: Liz, the top — the top military leaders of our country want Guantanamo closed. President Bush, in June 2009 [sic], gave a speech where he said he would close it, and he would bring people home and try them here.
CHENEY: No, I’m sorry.
WALSH: President Bush said that.
CHENEY: He did not say he would bring terrorists onto the homeland. Joan, no, he didn’t say that.
Walsh is right, Bush did say that. During a June 2006 press conference at a U.S.-EU summit, Bush called for Gitmo to be closed and to have some of the detainees tried in U.S. courts:
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.
However, Cheney’s canards didn’t end there. She also offered the debunked claim that “14 percent” of Gitmo detainees have “returned to the battlefield,” a claim Walsh noted is “not true.” Indeed, last week the New York Times issued a correction to its story, saying that the number is closer to 5 percent.