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Last Updated: Monday, 13 June, 2005, 10:51 GMT 11:51 UK
Guantanamo to stay, says Cheney
US soldiers watches prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
The Pentagon says that interrogation methods at Guantanamo are justified
US Vice-President Dick Cheney says there are no plans to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, responding to growing criticism of the facility.

In an interview for Fox News TV to be aired on Monday evening, Mr Cheney says that those prisoners who remain there are "bad people" and "hardcore".

His remarks come after strong criticism by Republican senators over the running of the US detention centre.

New details emerged on Sunday of measures used against a Saudi detainee.

A report published in Time magazine quoted secret US logs - authenticated by the Pentagon - describing the treatment of Mohammed al-Qahtani, a suspect captured in Afghanistan in 2001.

Officials say the suspect had earlier sought entry to the US to participate in the 11 September 2001 attacks.

'Invasion of space'

Mr Qahtani had apparently been forced to bark like a dog, stand for prolonged periods, had his facial hair shaved off and pictures of scantily clad women hung round his neck.

The important thing to understand is that the people at Guantanamo are bad people - these are terrorists for the most part
Dick Cheney
US Vice-President

He was forcibly injected with fluids after refusing food and water.

He was also subjected to a procedure known as "invasion of space by a female", in which he was straddled by a woman soldier.

He is said to have confessed to working for al-Qaeda and meeting Osama Bin Laden.

A Pentagon statement released on Sunday said the measures used were justified to prevent further attacks on the US.

'Bad icon'

Speaking to Fox's Hannity and Colmes programme, Mr Cheney said the US needed to have the capability to imprison detainees captured during the US-led war on terror.

If in fact we are treating prisoners this way, it's not only wrong, it's dangerous and very dumb and very short-sighted
Chuck Hagel
Republican senator

He said less dangerous inmates at the detention centre had been released after a screening process, and those that remained were the most dangerous.

"The important thing here to understand is that the people that are at Guantanamo are bad people. I mean, these are terrorists for the most part," he said.

"At present, there's no plan to close Gitmo [Guantanamo]. The president says we review all of our options on a continuous basis," he added.

Senator Mel Martinez on Friday became the first high-profile Republican to say the government should consider closing the facility, describing it as an "icon for bad stories".

Chuck Hagel, another Republican, weighed in on Sunday in response to the Time report on the Saudi detainee, saying such treatment offended the sensibilities of "straight-thinking" people.

"It's not at all within the standards of who we are as a civilised people, what our laws are," he told CNN.

"If in fact we are treating prisoners this way, it's not only wrong, it's dangerous and very dumb and very short-sighted.

"This is not how you win the people of the world over to our side, especially the Muslim world."

Last month, an Amnesty International report describing Guantanamo as "a gulag of our time" prompted an angry reaction from US officials.

Democrat Senator Joseph Biden has also called for its closure.




SEE ALSO:
Senator urges Guantanamo closure
06 Jun 05 |  Americas
US general rejects Amnesty report
30 May 05 |  Americas
Inquiry finds Koran 'mishandling'
27 May 05 |  Americas


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