Close Guantanamo: Top US senator

2012-11-29 10:00
The US flag flies over the war crimes courtroom in Camp Justice in this photo taken at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (File, AFP)

The US flag flies over the war crimes courtroom in Camp Justice in this photo taken at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The United States can close its detention centre at the US naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba without risking the nation's security, the head of the US Senate's Intelligence Committee said on Wednesday.

Senator Dianne Feinstein made her case while brandishing a copy of a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the suitability of US prisons to house the remaining 166 detainees currently in custody at Guantanamo.

"This report demonstrates that if the political will exists, we could finally close Guantanamo without imperilling our national security," Feinstein said.

"The GAO report makes clear that numerous prisons exist inside the United States - operated by both the Department of Defence and the Department of Justice - capable of holding the 166 detainees who remain at Guantanamo in an environment that meets the security requirements."

Indeed there are already many inmates convicted of terrorism serving time at facilities inside the United States, she said.

"To say that high-risk detainees cannot be held securely in a maximum security prison is just plain wrong," Feinstein said.

"The United States already holds 373 individuals convicted of terrorism in 98 facilities across the country.

Obama criticised

"As far as I know, there hasn't been a single security problem reported in any of these cases," she said.

"This fact outweighs not only the high cost of maintaining Guantanamo - which costs more than $114m a year - but also provides the same degree of security without the criticism of operating a military prison in an isolated location."

The GAO report found that there are prisons in the United States that can hold the Guantanamo detainees safely and securely with the same degree of securtiy that exists at the US-run military facility, Feinstein said.

President Barack Obama came under considerable criticism for not following through on his pledge to close the Guantanamo prison facility in his first term as he had pledged, and many analysts have suggested that he might make it a priority in his second term.

Shortly after he took office in January 2009, Obama vowed that he would shutter the "war on terror" prison camp within one year, saying it served as a recruiting tool for militants and hurt US national security.

But that pledge foundered amid strong opposition from lawmakers and other politicians opposed to moving inmates accused of crimes as serious as terrorism to the United States.

Rights groups have strongly criticised Obama for his Guantanamo failings and for maintaining other stringent security tactics put into practice under his predecessor George W Bush.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us  |  security
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

'Zuma's legacy will be judged by Nkandla'

The legacy of President Jacob Zuma is contingent on how he deals with the issue of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, says Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9380

The first BlackBerry Curve smartphone with a touch screen Stay connected...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.