Releasing Gitmo detainees pose a danger to US: Bush

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Washington, Jan.16 (ANI): President George W. Bush said Thursday that closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is "not as easy as it sounds," sending a warning to President-elect Barack Obama that he will have to find a way to prevent those released from coming back to attack the U.S.

"People will find that there's quite a few that are very dangerous people and to put them in a position where they can eventually get out on the street and come back and harm one of our citizens would be a very dangerous policy," Bush told The Washington Times in an interview in the Oval Office.

The president also saw an upside to otherwise painful economic times for many Americans, arguing that the recent drop in gasoline prices, which analysts blame largely on the recession, could end up spurring the economy.

Obama said last weekend that it would be "a challenge" to close Guantanamo Bay in the first 100 days of his administration, but his transition team said this week that he will issue an executive order early in his administration to begin the process.

"It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize," Obama told ABC's "This Week," adding that he recognizes some of those detained "may be very dangerous."

The Washington Times reported that the Pentagon is looking at several military bases in the U.S. as destinations for the nearly 250 suspected terrorists now at Guantanamo Bay.

Among the bases under consideration are Camp Pendleton in California and Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

Bush expressed his reservations about closing the detention center without having a plan in place for "some of these very hard, cold-blooded people."

As of December, the Pentagon said, 61 former detainees, or about 11 percent of those released, were thought to have returned to the terrorist battlefield. That was up from figures from March, when the Pentagon said 37 former detainees, or 6 percent of those released, were either confirmed as or suspected of returning to the fight. (ANI)

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