FNC’s Shepard Smith: Guantanamo Gave U.S. A ‘Black Eye’

Shepard Smith and Peter King, FNC In an interview on Fox News Channel’s Studio B on Wednesday, New York Congressman Peter King criticized President Obama for his “race to close Guantanamo,” prompting host Shepard Smith to parrot left-wing talking points on the subject: “[Obama] said that gave us a black eye around the world and studies seem to suggest that’s exactly what it did.”

King went on to staunchly defend the military prison: “I think we should not be giving in just because the terrorists say that Gitmo is a recruiting agent. So is our support of Israel. Does that mean we shouldn’t support Israel?” Smith skeptically replied: “You’re not equating the two, are you Congressman?” He then wondered: “Why is this political football being thrown around so much in the middle of all this?”

Smith later ranted: “Of all the important things to talk this just where we keep these people who want us dead, why do we spend time even talking about it? Why do people care?... In Cuba, we shoved them off to another country and stuck them on the end of an island and given the nation a black eye, if you believe – if you believe President Obama.” King pointed out Smith’s bias: “I think only a person that’s incredibly naive would say that we got – that we deserve that black eye. We got it because elements in the media and elements in the Democratic Party kept parroting that line.” In reply, Smith could be heard off camera sighing in disgust: “Ugh.”

Here is a transcript of the exchange:
3:42PM

PETER KING: And also, I think the President should end this race to close Guantanamo and realize that’s sending a very mixed signal to the world and to our people in the field.

SHEPARD SMITH: How’s that sending a mixed signal? He campaigned on that, he’s been real firm on that. He said that gave us a black eye around the world and studies seem to suggest that’s exactly what it did. And what difference does it make where you house them as long as they don’t get out?

KING: It makes a very big difference. Because right now we have no place to put them.

SMITH: Oh, they’ll find someplace to put them, Congressman.

KING: He wants to send them to Yemen and obviously-

SMITH: They’re not gonna do that, they already said they’re not gonna-

KING: Well, they were gonna do it up until yesterday.

SMITH: They’re not now.

KING: Well, why was he even thinking about it for the last year. I mean that’s the whole point, he should have known. That’s why I’m saying the schizophrenic message that’s coming from the administration. And I support the President on a lot of what he’s doing. I know what he’s doing in Yemen and I support that. But as far as sending people from Guantanamo there, it was a big mistake. And I think we should not be giving in just because the terrorists say that Gitmo is a recruiting agent. So is our support of Israel. Does that mean we shouldn’t support Israel? So if we’re using drones-

SMITH: You’re not equating the two, are you Congressman? I mean, truly-

KING: Guantanamo – Guantanamo – no-

SMITH: Why is this political football being thrown around so much in the middle of all this?

KING: Shepard don’t – don’t-

SMITH: President Obama campaigned on this issue and he said he was going to do it, he got elected, now he’s gonna do it.

KING: And he’s wrong. And he should learn by his mistakes. He’s wrong on that.

SMITH: Well, I mean the other one said he wasn’t gonna – actually the other candidate said he was gonna close Guantanamo Bay, too, and so did President Bush. I mean they’re not alone on an island out there somewhere.

KING: No, there’s two different things, Shepard. John McCain, I disagreed with him on this, President Bush. Everybody wants to close Guantanamo ultimately. Don’t be setting one year time limits or two year time limits. The fact is that we cannot be giving into terrorist demands. And Guantanamo is a model prison, it’s better than almost any prison you would find anywhere. Those detainees there are being treated better than most Marines are being treated in Paris Island or Army trainees-

SMITH: Of all the important things to talk this just where we keep these people who want us dead, why do we spend time even talking about it? Why do people care? I mean it’s-

KING: Well it’s very important – I’ll tell you why.

SMITH: In Cuba, we shoved them off to another country and stuck them on the end of an island and given the nation a black eye, if you believe – if you believe President Obama.

KING: No, Shepard, only a – I don't believe him – I think only a person that’s incredibly naive would say that we got – that we deserve that black eye. We got it because elements in the media and elements in the Democratic Party kept parroting that line.

SMITH [IN DISGUST]: Ugh

KING: But the fact is they’re being treated [with] extreme humaneness at Guantanamo. It was the right thing to do and there were constitutional reasons for doing it and legal reasons for doing it, all of which, I think, have been proven right. You have to keep them in a place where they can be interrogated, where information can be gotten from them, intelligence gotten from them. We have the right to keep them there as long as we want to, I believe.
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC