Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel admitted to CNN’s Barbara Starr Friday that the White House pressured him to increase the pace for releasing detainees from the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
One day after reports came out that at least one of the Guantanamo Bay detainees — a Taliban leader — is attempting to make contact with other Taliban leaders in Afghanistan, Hagel told Starr that he and the White House didn’t always see eye-to-eye on prisoner releases.
“Not everyone at the White House has agreed with me,” Hagel told Starr on the subject of releasing detainees. “We’ve had a lot of conversations.”
“With the White House?” Starr pushed back.
“Yes,” said Hagel. “Because I have the responsibility and I play my own game here,” he emphasized. “And that is because, by law, I am the one official in government charged with certification of release of detainees. I take that responsibility very seriously.”
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