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Powell would close Gitmo 'not tomorrow, but this afternoon'
David Edwards and Josh Catone
Published: Sunday June 10, 2007
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"Guantanamo has become a major problem for America's perception as it's seen; the way the world perceives America, and if it was up to me, I would close Guantanamo -- not tomorrow but this afternoon -- I'd close it," said Colin Powell on NBC's Meet the Press this morning. "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."

"The concern was, 'Well, then they'll access to lawyers, then they'll have access to writs of habeas corpus.' So what? Let them. Isn't that what our system is all about?" he continued.

Powell said the US justice system "can handle bad people." He told host Tim Russet that he would close Guantanamo and stop using the military commission system. Instead, he would deal with prisoners in more "constitutional terms."

"Essentially we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open and creating things like a military commission," he said. "We don't need it, and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get for it."

The following video is from NBC's Meet the Press, broadcast on June 10.