Geraldo: Close Gitmo, A 'National Embarrassment'

June 24th, 2006 7:12 AM

MRC's Geoff Dickens reports that on Thursday's edition of his Fox-syndicated show "Geraldo at Large," Geraldo Rivera editorialized against keeping terrorist suspects at Guantanamo: "And later, close it down, for God’s sake. Gitmo is a national embarrassment. We’ll take you inside the terror lock-down on Cuba."

Rivera used strange terms like "malignant desperation" and "successful suicides" to describe the situation on the ground, although Judge Andrew Napolitano noted that the prison is "immaculate" and the treatment of prisoners is "almost gentle." He was disturbed by the lack of charges against these suspects, but acknowledged it could be seen as an injustice to release these suspects "to re-attack the American soldiers they were once fighting against." Here's more of the transcript:

Rivera: "In Austria during his European tour President Bush responded to international critics calling for the closing of the U.S. detention camp in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba after three inmates recently committed suicide there."

[George W. Bush: "There are some who need to be tried in U.S. courts. They’re, they’re cold-blooded killers. They will murder somebody if they’re let out on the street."]

Rivera: "I take the Commander-in-Chief at his word. If we have evidence that certain of these detainees are guilty of criminal conduct then let’s put them on trial publicly and unafraid but for heaven’s sake if we don’t have anything beyond mere suspicion then let’s close down this embarrassment. Many of these detainees have been in Gitmo for three or four years and have never been charged with anything. Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin says that the malignant desperation of not knowing when or if detention will end is what led the three detainees to take their own lives."

[Sen. Dick Durbin: "After three years we have to concede the obvious. There’s nothing left for them to tell us and at this point they should be released."]

Rivera: "Three successful suicides are among dozens of attempts and how much longer can we as a nation bear the image of detainees being force fed to prevent them from starving themselves?"

[Rep. Jane Harman: "Guantanamo is a ticking time bomb. In hindsight it never should have been set up as a prison for these detainees."]

Rivera: "Hindsight is easy, especially for politicians but California Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman is right. I could care less about these prisoners. What I care about is the American Constitution and our conscience."

Rivera: "Shut it down. Save our honor. Send them home. Joining me here at home base Judge Andrew Napolitano, the Fox News senior judicial analyst who has just returned from Gitmo hours ago. Judge thank you very much for being here. Your most vivid impression?"

Andrew Napolitano: "As prisons go it’s immaculate, upscale, hi-tech, and the treatment of the prisoners is almost gentle, Geraldo. I was quite surprised by that."

Rivera: "Your legal impression, Judge?"

Napolitano: "It, it bothers my conscience that there are people being held by the government who are not being prosecuted and will never see a judge and jury but it would bother the conscience of a lot of parents of soldiers if these people were to be unleashed again to re-attack the American soldiers they were once fighting against."