Friday, 30 March 2007

Gates: Congress should shut Guantanamo

Gates: Congress should shut Guantanamo

But defense secretary says some detainees should be incarcerated for life

WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday Congress should look for ways to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, but said any solution must ensure some detainees would remain incarcerated for life.

“Is there a way statutorily to address the concerns about some of these people who really need to be incarcerated forever but that doesn’t get them involved in a judicial system where there is the potential of them being released, frankly?” Gates said at a congressional hearing.

“I just don’t know the answer,” he said.

President Bush and administration officials have said they would like to close Guantanamo. But they argue it is difficult to accomplish because of the trials to be held there and the group of detainees the United States says should be imprisoned for life.

According to Gates, some of the prisoners have said they would attack the United States again if released.

If the United States moves the prisoners to some other location, the federal government must ensure the prisoners cannot find a legal avenue to freedom.

“It’s an area where frankly I think there needs to be some dialogue between the Congress and the administration,” he said.

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