...Cheney unyieldingly defended the Bush administration’s support for the Guantanamo Bay prison and coercive interrogation of terrorism suspects. And he asserted that President Obama will either backtrack on his stated intentions to end those policies or put the country at risk in ways more severe than most Americans — and, he charged, many members of Obama’s own team — understand.
“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 said...
Citing intelligence reports, Cheney said at least 61 of the inmates who were released from Guantanamo during the Bush administration — “that’s about 11 or 12 percent” — have “gone back into the business of being terrorists.”
The 200 or so inmates still there, he claimed, are “the hard core” whose “recidivism rate would be much higher.” (Lawyers for Guantanamo detainees have strongly disputed the recidivism figures, asserting that the Pentagon data have inconsistencies and omissions.) Cheney called Guantanamo a “first-class program,” and “a necessary facility” that is operated legally and with better food and treatment than the jails in inmates' native countries.
But he said he worried that “instead of sitting down and carefully evaluating the policies,” Obama officials are unwisely following “campaign rhetoric” and preparing to release terrorism suspects or afford them legal protections granted to more conventional defendants in crime cases.Update: According to the Long War Journal, Saudi Arabia's new list of 85 most-wanted terrorists includes 11 former Gitmo detainees who went through Saudi Arabia's rehabilitation program.