Bush hopes plan to close Gitmo won’t risk security | NevadaAppeal.com

Bush hopes plan to close Gitmo won’t risk security

ERIE, Pa. (AP) – Former President George W. Bush said Wednesday that he hopes that his successor’s plans to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will not compromise domestic security. Bush, though, maintained during an appearance in northwestern Pennsylvania that he would not criticize President Barack Obama, though he did discuss his policies.

“I will just tell you that there are people at Gitmo who will kill Americans at the drop of a hat,” the nation’s 43rd president said at a dinner held by a group of business leaders in Erie. “Persuasion isn’t going to work. Therapy isn’t going to change their mind.”

Bush has made just a handful of public appearances since he left office in January, though his hour-long session before a friendly crowd of about 1,600 touched on familiar themes in reminiscing about his eight years in the White House.

The topic of Guantanamo Bay arose during a question-and-answer session, in which e-mailed or submitted questions were screened and chosen by a moderator during the event.

“I certainly hope not,” Bush answered when asked if he thought Obama’s plan could compromise security before adding, “I told you I would not criticize my successor.”