Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has come out swinging against Guantanamo:
"Guantanamo has become a major, major problem ... in the way the world perceives America and if it were up to me I would close Guantanamo not tomorrow but this afternoon ... and I would not let any of those people go. I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system," Powell told NBC's Meet the Press.
"Essentially, we have shaken the belief the world had in America's justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open and creating things like the military commission. We don't need it and it is causing us far more damage than any good we get for it," he added.
"I would get rid of Guantanamo and the military commission system and use established procedures in federal law," Powell said, saying some leaders around the world were using Guantanamo to hide their own misdeeds.
"It's a more equitable way, and more understandable in constitutional terms," he added.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also spoken out against Guantanamo:
"There is no question ... An institution like Guantanamo in its present form cannot and must not exist in the long term."
And so has British Prime Minister Tony Blair:
"I would prefer that it [Guantánamo] was not there. I would prefer it was closed, yes."
It's time to close Guantanamo and restore respect for the rule of law in this country. The Constitution and Bill of Rights aren't mere scraps of paper that we can choose to ignore whenever we want. We must also abide by international treaties like the Geneva Conventions and demonstrate to the world that we won't allow the terrorists to undermine the principles of democracy, freedom and human rights upon which the country was founded.
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