Prison Boss: No Innocent Men in Guantanamo

HARRIS: You know, that's an interesting question. I don't know that answer. I don't -- you know, I don't feel any trepidation when I tell my friends and family that I'm here in Guantanamo. And I think the troopers that are here -- and you've had the opportunity to meet some of them -- I believe that they are proud of the work they do.

And if there are folks who are outside of Guantanamo look upon us in a negative way, then that's their right to do. And what we have to do is continue to do the job that we were assigned to do, and do it to the best of our ability -- and I believe we're doing it.

MORAN: Excuse me -- we just -- ABC News just published a poll. Our poll showed that while the majority of Americans believe that suspects need to be detained, 70 percent of -- more than 70 percent think they should not be detained indefinitely without charges. Majorities of Republicans and conservatives, liberals, Democrats.

But that's what you're doing, retaining people indefinitely without charges.

HARRIS: I believe that that's a message, the second part of that message. The first part obviously goes with what I said before, that people support the need to detain enemy combatants.

The second part is probably my inability to articulate it correctly to folks who come through Guantanamo. And what I'm trying to articulate -- and I need to do a better job of it -- is the fact that what we are doing here is not a criminal process. And I believe that most Americans support the notion that you don't detain criminals indefinitely without a whole due process piece associated with the history of American jurisprudence. And I would agree with that.

But what we have here are not criminals. What we have here are enemy combatants. So the analogy of what we have in Guantanamo would be a prisoner of war, though they're not prisoners of war, per se, they're detained enemy combatants. But the analogy is they're prisoners of war.

And there is no expectation that a detaining country would release a prisoner of war during the conduct of an ongoing war, conflict. Nor is there an expectation, I believe, by a reasonable person, that prisoners of war enjoy rights that criminals would enjoy, because it's a different kind of an entity, different kind of a concept.

And the fact that 70 percent of Americans in your poll don't understand that is more my fault than anyone else's fault. And I need to do a better job of articulating that.

MORAN: One more on this general legal topic. The Combat Status Review Tribunals that you've mentioned, they were studied by lawyers. And that study found that the military's own records show that 55 percent of the detainees here never committed a hostile act against the U.S. or coalition forces. Only 8 percent were found to be, by the military, al Qaeda fighters. And only 5 percent were actually captured by U.S. forces, many of the rest sold into captivity.

Is that a problem?

HARRIS: Two issues on that, two points to make on that.

One, it's not a problem. But the first point is that that study was a Seton Hall study, and that study only looked at half of the available documentation. It looked at the documentation from the detainee side and not the government side for reasons for national security or classification or whatever.

So it only looked at half of the records. And then that part of the record was also redacted for security reasons.

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