Desperate to stand apart from the pack and court soccer moms with a thirst for waterboarding, future presidential also-ran Marco Rubio staked out a remarkable policy position on day one of his campaign: He'd grow the detainee population at Guantánamo and "aggressively" pump prisoners for intelligence.
Rubio, whose campaign of "American dreams" is ostensibly premised on the idea that "Yesterday is over, and we are never going back," said Monday that if President Obama closed the Gitmo prison, a president Rubio would go back and reopen it to relive the halcyon yesterdays of enhanced interrogations.
Rubio, talking to ABC's George Stephanopoulos after announcing his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, said America needs an intelligence and detention center for interrogating suspected terrorists.
"They're killed by a drone or they're targeted in some other way," he said. "But there's tremendous value in capturing people that are enemy combatants and from them being able to gather actionable intelligence that can not only prevent attacks against the homeland and abroad but allow us to disrupt the cells they've created in different parts of the world."
He added: "We're no longer doing that as aggressively as we once did."
Rubio added that "he believes the next president will suffer from the blow-back of Obama's Guantánamo releases, calling the recent history of releases 'atrocious' and saying a 'significant percentage have returned to the battlefield.'"
Setting aside the fact that this was perhaps not the most apt use of the term "atrocious" in connection with Gitmo, Rubio failed to note that 82 percent of the 645 detainees released from the prison since 9/11 were released by the Bush administration, and their recidivism rate is about four times higher than those detainees released since Obama took office.
[Photo credit: Joint Task Force Guantánamo]