Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says President Barack Obama has come to accept much of the Bush Doctrine out of necessity, despite what he campaigned on in 2008.
Rumsfeld said that Obama needed to keep the Guantanomo Bay detention center open because of national security concerns, and it was the best solution among a host of bad options.
“They ended up keeping Guantanamo open not because they like it — we didn’t like it either — but they couldn’t think of a better solution,” Rumsfeld told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren on Tuesday.
Rumsfeld then listed a handful of other Bush administration policies that have continued into the Obama administration, something that he sees as vindication of the policies.
“The same is true with the Patriot Act, and military commissions, and indefinite detention. All of those things were criticized but today are still in place two-and-a-half years later because they are the best alternative to the other choices — and they are in fact successful in keeping America safer,” he says.
President Obama had campaigned against many of the major programs of President Bush’s war on terror, but often his national security policy has mirrored that of his predecessor.
“I think what they did was they campaigned again the Bush approach — and once they got in they realized the 90-nation coalition that was put together was successful in sharing intelligence, and tracking bank accounts, and cooperating against terrorism,” said Rumsfeld.
The former defense secretary also spoke about how Sept. 11 changed peoples lives and how the government works.
“It was the largest attack on America inside of our country,” Rumsfeld said. “It led to a new set of steps to try to protect the American people — a different way of looking at it — instead of thinking we can defend what you can’t defend against a terrorist, every place at every moment of the day or night against every conceivable technique. But we had to go after them and put pressure on them — thus far it has been quite successful.”
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