Powell Calls for Closure of Military Prison at Guantanamo
By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 11, 2007; A03
Former secretary of state Colin L. Powell said yesterday that he would close down the U.S. military prison for enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, "this afternoon" because it has become a major problem in "the way the world perceives America."
"Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open and creating things like a military commission," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Making it clear that he "would not let any of those people go," Powell said, "I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our more federal legal system." He said he sees no problem in detainees having the right of habeas corpus and getting their own lawyers. "Isn't that what our system is all about?"
Powell was the only member of President Bush's first-term "war cabinet" who argued against the detainee policies. Those policies said the United States was not obligated to abide by the Geneva Conventions in its treatment of enemy combatants. more
I never take Powell's opinion lightly. He's what one might call a concerned realist. By that I mean he doesn't filter facts through a partisan sieve when making decisions. His opinion (and mine) is that Gitmo harms America's image and moral authority and that does more harm than any "good" Gitmo does us. See for yourself.