Tags: Barack Obama | Colin Powell | Gitmo | Close | Guantanamo Prison

Colin Powell: I Have Wanted Gitmo Closed for 12 Years

(MSNBC/"Andrea Mitchell Reports")

By    |   Wednesday, 24 Feb 2016 02:14 PM

Colin Powell, who served as secretary of state under former President George W. Bush, has wanted to see the Guantanamo detention center in Cuba closed for the past 12 years, and he said Wednesday that President Barack Obama is making the right decision.

"President Bush made a decision to close Guantanamo, and I supported that when President Obama came in," the retired general told MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports."

"As secretary of state, Guantanamo was a heavy load to carry as I went around the world talking about human rights, talking about how you treat prisoners, talking about how you can't have indefinite detention or the use of torture to get things out of people."

As he traveled, Powell said, he got a great deal of pushback from other nations concerning what the United States was doing at the Cuban facility, and the fact of the matter is that the prison has been closing slowly over the past 10 years.

"We started out with almost 800 people in Guantanamo and now we're down to less than 100," Powell said. "Where did the other 700 go? They're gone. They've been sent back because we didn't have charges on them, we didn't know how they had gotten there in the first place.

"We're down to under 100 and we're going to cut that in half over the next several months. Do we need to keep this place open for under 50 remaining detainees who we can easily move to a secure facility in the United States?"

Powell said that he is not worried about any dangers that could come by jailing the Gitmo detainees in the United States, as "we've got prisons that can hold them. They're not going to cause any problems if they go to Leavenworth or even Rikers Island."

Further, Powell said he has faith in the court system, which has done a better job of jailing terrorists than military commissions have been able to do.

"I have confidence in our federal system, I have confidence in our constitutional way of doing business, and I would like to see Guantanamo closed," he said.

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Colin Powell, who served as secretary of state under former President George W. Bush, has wanted to see the Guantanamo detention center in Cuba closed for the past 12 years, and he said Wednesday that President Barack Obama is making the right decision.
Colin Powell, Gitmo, Close, Guantanamo Prison
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2016-14-24
Wednesday, 24 Feb 2016 02:14 PM
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