5049638A group of retired generals say that former Vice President Dick Cheney and his "acolytes," including daughter Liz Cheney (left), are trying to scare Americans over the prospect of closing the Guantanamo Bay prison facility through "nonsense" arguments, Politico reports.
"It's up to all of us to say these arguments advanced by Cheney and his acolytes are nonsense and that really what they're doing is undermining our national security by delaying the date at which Guantanamo is closed," retired Brig. Gen. James Cullen told Politico.
Added retired Gen. David Maddox: "Some of the fear issues that are being raised in this are really unfortunate. It gets people excited about things they shouldn't be excited about and impedes doing what is critical to this country…We take a setback every time somebody, whether it's the vice president or his daughter comes out and says the things that they say."
In June, Liz Cheney said on CNN that "it's clear that al-Quaeda operatives and terrorists have spent a lot of time and have expended a lot of effort to get into the United States. So I think it's impossible to argue that when our government actually helps them get into the United States, as we would do in this case, that it doesn't make us less safe. Of course that makes us less safe."
"If you release the hard-core al Qaeda terrorists that are held at Guantanamo, I think they go back into the business of trying to kill more Americans and mount further mass-casualty attacks," Cheney said in February. "If you turn 'em loose and they go kill more Americans, who's responsible for that? When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry."
Cheney has also complained that "the administration has found that it's easy to receive applause in Europe for closing Guantanamo. But it's tricky to come up with an alternative that will serve the interests of justice and America's national security."
Though President Obama vowed to close Guantanamo within a year soon after his inauguration, it looks increasingly unlikely that the administration will meet the Jan. 22nd deadline. Efforts to close the facility have been complicated by resistance by many in Congress to holding the detainees in their districts.
Maddox addressed that issue Tuesday.
"Can you imagine getting a terrorist from Guantanamo convicted and put in a federal penitentiary in your town?" the general asked, according to Politico. "Have you ever checked who the hell's in there already? Have any of them gotten out? The person who we're putting in is probably a heck of lot less dangerous than most of them who are already in there."
The generals met with Attorney General Eric Holder Monday and are also scheduled to meet with Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn. The Cheneys declined to comment on the criticism.