Monday, January 11, 2016

Denis McDonough Loses His Cool About Guantanamo

Denis McDonough / Photo: Sam Kittner, CC BY 2.0

Yesterday on Fox News Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough got *very* agitated when discussing the issue of closing Guantanamo Bay and the supposed 30% of former detainees that are known or suspected to have returned to the battle field.**

White House Chiefs of Staff are traditionally cool and composed in media appearances.  To the best of my recollection, even notorious hothead Rahm Emanuel always kept his composure in press appearances, and did so through an epic financial crisis.

McDonough got ruffled and extremely defensive. Is it possible he's not comfortable with the Administration's policy? Was he just not well-prepared for this line of questioning? Or did he just hit his limit with the Bush administration's numbers being used against the Obama Administration?  

Watch the clip at 4:15 to 8:07 (especially after 6:11) and judge for yourself.

** The stat Chris Wallace cited was skewed higher due to a MUCH higher suspected recidivism rate among Gitmo detainees released by the Bush administration.

The most recent stats from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence indicated:
> 35% of Gitmo detainees released under GW Bush have or are suspected of having returned to the battle field.
> Just 9.8% of Gitmo detainees released under Obama are suspected of terrorist recidivism.
> Bush released 4.5 times the number of detainees of Obama - 532 released under Bush, 121 released under Obama.
[ODNI September 2015 Final Report]

For comparison, here's the March 2012 ODNI report.

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