05/03/2013 03:11 pm ET

Ari Fleischer Claims Nazis Were Law-Abiding In Justification Of Guantanamo Bay (VIDEO)

Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer defended Guantanamo Bay on CNN Thursday night, arguing that the United States was justified in opening the facility.

Fleischer, who served as press secretary for former President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2003, said he believes the Bush administration was right to open the detention camp in 2009 because terrorists do not adhere to "the law of war."

"These people didn’t even wear a military uniform. They engaged in battle against America as terrorists, a violation of the laws of war. That’s why Guantanamo got invented," Fleischer said.

Legal expert Jeffrey Toobin challenged Fleischer, bringing Adolf Hilter into the conversation and saying that he believes Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda are no worse than the Nazis, whom the United States defeated by following "the rule of war."

But Fleischer disagreed, citing the Nazis as law-abiding and underscoring al-Qaeda's unique severity.

"[The Germans] followed the law of war. They wore uniforms and they fought us on battlefields," he said. "These people are fundamentally, totally by design, different. And they need to be treated in a different extrajudicial system."

Fleischer failed to mention that some Nazis were tried and executed by a military tribunal after they were caught on U.S. soil.

Guantanamo Bay, which opened in 2002 following the Sept. 11 attacks, has regained media attention in recent months with more than 100 detainees participating in a hunger strike. Though President Barack Obama has promised to close the detention camp, many have doubted he will act on that pledge.



Inside Guantanamo Bay