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Rand Paul: Don't close Guantanamo Bay prison

May 26, 2013 at 12:57 PM
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NEW YORK, May 26 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Sunday the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should not be closed and detainees should be charged and tried.

During a counterterrorism speech Thursday, President Barack Obama suggested closing the detention camp and incarcerating the prisoners in military or maximum security prisons in the United States.

"There is no justification beyond politics for Congress to prevent us from closing a facility that should never have been opened," Obama said.

In an appearance on ABC's "This Week," Paul said the prison should not be closed, though he thinks "it's become a symbol of something ... and I think things should change."

"For example, I think the people being held there are bad people. What I would do though is accuse them, charge them and try them in military commissions, or trials, or tribunals," Paul said. "And I think that would go a long way toward showing the world that we're not going to hold them without charge forever."

Paul said he thinks Obama should have vetoed legislation last year allowing the detainment of citizens at Guantanamo Bay indefinitely without trial.

"Now the president said he won't use that power. But [I and other civil libertarians] think a president who really believes in civil liberties would have vetoed the bill, and not signed the bill," he said.

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