Powell: Guantanamo should be closed

Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell on Sunday called for the immediate closure of Guantanamo prison, saying the Cuban-based prison compound for foreign terrorism suspects has damaged Americas image.

Powell: Guantanamo should be closed
Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell on Sunday called for the immediate closure of Guantanamo prison, saying the Cuban-based prison compound for foreign terrorism suspects has damaged Americas image.

Powell, who was Secretary of State during the September 11 attacks and the 2003 Iraq war, said the 380 prisoners held in Guantanamo should be moved into the United States and be tried under the US judicial system.

"If it were up to me I would close Guantanamo not tomorrow but this afternoon and I would not let any of those people go. I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system," Powell said in an interview with the NBC's Meet the Press news television program.

"I would get rid of Guantanamo and the military commission system and use established procedures in federal law," he said.

The US Administration has come under increasing criticism from rights groups, lawmakers and foreign governments for continuing to hold foreign terrorism suspects without trial since 2001.

Resisting pressure, the Bush Administration has argued that some of the 380 remaining prisoners were dangerous sources of threat and that the interrogations have provided the Administration "valuable" information about Al-Qaedas future plans.

But Powell, who was the most moderate Cabinet member of the Bushs described hawkish Administration, said the Guantanamo prison compound has done harm to the image of the United States, a country he said should act as an example to others.

"Essentially, we have shaken the belief the world had in America's justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open and creating things like the military commission. We don't need it and it is causing us far more damage than any good we get for it," he said.
Last Mod: 11 Haziran 2007, 12:03
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