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No plan to close Gitmo detention center

June 12, 2005 at 2:21 PM

WASHINGTON, June 12 (UPI) -- Vice President Dick Cheney says there are no plans to close the U.S. military detention center for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Cheney, in an excerpt released Sunday from an interview with "Monday on FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes," said it was important to remember the more than 500 people being held at the Navy facility were "harddcore" members of the al-Qaida terrorist network.

"At present, there's no plan to close Gitmo," he said. "The president says we review all of our options on a continuous basis. The important thing here to understand is that the people that are at Guantanamo are bad people."

Cheney said remaining detainees were terrorists for the most part.

Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., said Friday the Bush administration should close Guantanamo and Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., said on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday he supports closing the facility.

The three-year-old detention center holds more than 500 people who are being interrogated. Controversy arose recently over allegations of mistreatment and desecration of the Koran, the Muslim holy book, by guards to intimidate inmates.

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