Bennet critical of Obama over Guantanamo

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., criticized the Obama administration Saturday, saying it apparently had no plan for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison for terrorists when the president first promised it would be shut down.

President Obama’s first order of his administration was to close the camp, which remains open.

“I support closing it,” Bennet told about a dozen supporters in a campaign stop at the Western Slope Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Fruita, “but we need a plan.”

It appears a facility in Illinois would be willing to take the prisoners, he said.

Bennet also called for trials for the people imprisoned at Guantanamo “wherever a conviction is most likely.”

Bennet, who is running to win his Senate seat on his own after he was appointed to the post by Gov. Bill Ritter, made the stop before his debate against Republican challenger Ken Buck at the Club 20 debates Saturday night.

The end of war in Iraq has turned out successfully, Bennet said, adding, “I didn’t think we should have gone.”

As it turned out, “None of the policy rationales turned out to be correct,” he said.

Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will need constant and expensive care, which Bennet said he is committed to providing through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

People are becoming aware that life after war for veterans now is different than it was for previous veterans, he said.

“Once the election is over, I hope we can focus on the veterans,” Bennet said, saying the issue has been poisoned of late.

“It never was this partisan,” he said.

Bennet is calling for greater cooperation by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to improve national security.


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