“I think that is preposterous,” Pawlenty told me, adding that he will end such a catch-and-release policy if he is elected president. Pawlenty also said he would keep Guantanamo prison open and start bringing terrorists there, as well as to other facilities, for interrogation again. He would restore enhanced interrogation “under certain and controlled and limited circumstances.” As for civilian trials for terrorists, Pawlenty said: “We are engaged in the war on terror.  [When] we are in the battlefield in Afghanistan or Iraq or its operational equivalent in some other place, and we apprehend somebody who is a suspected enemy combatant, the proper place for that person to be processed and questioned and prosecuted is not our civilian courts.”

In other words, he would do precisely what Adm. McRaven says the Obama administration has failed to do: Establish a clear plan for dealing with captured terrorists.

Marc Thiessen writes a weekly column for The Post on foreign and domestic policy and contributes to the PostPartisan blog. He is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and the former chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush.