By Kevin Robillard
Rep. Peter King, one of the most prominent terrorism hawks in Congress, said Sunday he's "offended" by the President Barack Obama's "moralizing" on the military detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"I'm offended by the moralizing," the New York Republican said on ABC's "This Week." "The fact is, whether you agree or disagree with Guantanamo, many experts believe that it did work. It was something that had to be done at the time. The president had five years to end this if he really wanted to. He could've moved most of those prisoners out of the country."
During his speech on terrorism Thursday, Obama announced a renewed commitment to closing the island prison, where dozens of suspected terrorists, including some the U.S. now acknowledges are innocent, have been held without trial for years. After Obama signed an executive order on his first day in office to close the prison, Congress used different pieces of legislation to block the moves.
"Everyone wants to close Guantanamo, ultimately," King said. "But again, he has the power to do it. He hasn't done it. He certainly, whether or not Congress was in the way, could have done a lot more than he has done about it if he were serious about it rather than just moralizing."
Later, King said the prison only acts as a symbol for terrorists because "the American media and people in politics stir about Guantanamo."
"We should be proud, defend what we're doing and stop apologizing for America," he said.