12/18/13 - Washington Times - Gitmo's first commander: Close the prison
The same man who led the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp through its
founding years now says the prison should be closed.
U.S. Major Gen. Michael Lehert, retired, was the first Gitmo
commander. But now he says that terrorists have been "successful" in
changing America and that the prison has played a major role in striking at
the Constitution, CNN reported.
"We need to move forward," he said, in CNN. "We need to say that the
Constitution doesn't stop at our water's edge and that we need to close
Mr. Lehert also said he was on board at the beginning stages of Gitmo
because he thought the facility was only going to remain open and
operational for a short time.
"But as I was down there, by about the second month, I realized that we
were going to be in for the long haul," he said, to CNN. "I also began
to recognize that many of the individuals that had been sent to me probably
never should have been sent there in the first place."
He called the act of jailing somebody a "soul-deadening" experience, in
CNN. And he said closing the facility - as President Obama has promised
for years - would not lead to any security dent to America.
"We have the best military in the world," Mr. Lehert, CNN reported.
"We have very clear biometrics on these individuals" and can track and
monitor their movements around the world."
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