Former Secretary Colin Powell supports closing Guantanamo

Although President Obama’s plan to close Guantanamo Detention Center on Tuesday will presumably face stiff resistance in Congress, a distinguished but unlikely former government official has announced his support for the proposal.

Colin Powell, retired National Security Advisor, four-star general and Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, is publicly backing Mr. Obama’s effort to close the facility.

During a phone interview on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, Powell stated:

“Do we really need to keep this place open for 50 remaining detainees who can easily move to a secure facility in the United States? I think it’s in the best interest in the nation and it’s in the best interest in our moral authority around the world.”

Of the remaining 91 detainees held in Guantanamo, 35 are to be transferred to host countries.  The remaining 56, 10 of whom will never be released or are awaiting military tribunals, will be moved into the American prison system.

Dismissing concerns among Republicans, Powell stated the U.S. court system has effectively prosecuted terrorists for a decade and questions of shifting responsibility from military trials to the American jury system were unfounded.

“You put a terrorist before a jury of Americans who are worried about their security, and I’m not worried about them getting off on some plea deal.  They’re going to get hammered, and they have been hammered,” Powell concluded.

 

[The Independent] [Photo courtesy security.blogs.cnn.com]