A congresswoman representing the San Gabriel Valley has just returned from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and said earlier this week she is “more convinced now than ever that we must close this detention center.”
Rep. Judy Chu, a Democrat first elected in 2009, said the very existence of the Guantanamo holding cells for accused terrorists “is a departure from the values the American people have long held.”
In a statement issued last Sunday, Chu said the detainees should be tried in the civilian court system that has convicted 500 terrorists since 2001, instead of being held in limbo in a military tribunal system that has only convicted seven.
“Ultimately, this is more than a policy concern, it’s a moral one,” she said in her statement. “This nation is synonymous with justice and the rule of law.
“Our government must live up to the ideals that the American people abide by each and every day. And that starts by closing Guantanamo.”
The American military base on two peninsulas in Cuba held 166 men as of last March. The were reportedly either accused of terrorist acts or ready for release but awaiting another country to accept them, the Washington Post reported.