Vice President Joe Biden assured Americans that, following the Obama administration's announcement that it will close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, potentially dangerous detainees will not be released within our own borders.
"We won't release people inside the United States because all but one I believe is not an American citizen," Biden said during his 53rd interview (and first as vice president) on CBS' Face The Nation. He told host Bob Schieffer that the release and replacement of these prisoners (many of whom have been held for years without charge) will be completed within the administration's first year.
He described the administration's actions as prudent. "They are either going to be moved and tried in American courts, in military courts, or they are going to be sent back to their countries," Biden explained. When Schieffer then noted that "some of their countries don't want them," the Vice President responded, "We are going one prisoner at a time."
Biden said that Guantanamo Bay and the legacy of renditions, detention and torture under the Bush administration have enabled terrorist organizations to grow rather than diminish, and that keeping the military prison open would have further harmful consequences for the U.S. around the world.
On other national security matters, Biden said that the U.S. can expect more casualties in Afghanistan as Washington increases its focus on the front there, and American and NATO forces try to reclaim territory that has been "lost," with more military engagements.
"I hate to say it," Biden said when asked about additional battlefield casualties, "but yes, I think there will be. There will be an up-tick."
Following this week's air strikes across the Afghan border into Pakistan, which are believed to have come from American spy planes targeting militants in the tribal border region, Biden was asked if Pakistan would be notified of any cross-border movements of U.S. troops.
"I always try to be completely candid with you, but I am not going to respond to that question," Biden told Schieffer.
President Obama had said during his campaign that if there were "actionable" intelligence on targets, he would send U.S. forces into Pakistan without the country's permission.
On the state of Iraq, the Vice President used a football analogy as he said, "I think we are on the twenty yard line, twenty yards to go." He noted that the hard part is over but that "there needs to be a political reconciliation in Iraq."
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