January 14th, 2008
05:53 PM ET

Closing Gitmo & restoring America’s image?

[cnn-photo-caption image= "http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/14/art.mullen.ap.jpg" caption=" Department of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen ."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says he wants to close the Guantanamo Bay prison as soon as possible.

During a visit there, Admiral Mike Mullen said he’d like to see Gitmo shut down because he thinks that negative publicity around the world about U.S. treatment of terror suspects there has been "pretty damaging" to our image.

Mullen adds that closing Gitmo is not his decision to make, and he understands there are many complex legal questions that first need to be answered, things like where to move the prisoners.

Officials say the prison population has shrunk over the past year, to 277. At one point, there were more that 600 suspects being held at Gitmo. Critics charge that some detainees have been mistreated and that their detentions haven't been consistent with the rule of law.

Both President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have spoken in favor of closing the prison, but Mullen says he's not aware of any moves to actually do it.

Mullen's visit to Gitmo came just two days after the sixth anniversary of the prison's opening.

Here’s my question to you: How far would closing the Guantanamo Bay prison go toward restoring America’s image around the world?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

Filed under: Global Image
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Bizz

    The only way closing Guantanamo Bay would help restore america's image around the world would be to impeach president Bush at the same time.

    January 14, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  2. Ed Reed

    Restoring America's image around the world? How about restoring America's image right here in America?

    January 14, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  3. Sam

    It would probably a first step . . . then get rid of all the NeoCon's in Washington and maybe, just maybe, the rest of the world won't think we're a bunch of redneck boobs intent on making them lock step to our beat.

    January 14, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  4. Ralph

    Jack, it would be like using a squirt gun to put out a forest fire. Thanks to our present leader and those who aid him, the US is hated throughout the world. Only actions showing that we understand the needs of other peoples and we stand with them, without insisting on our superiority will raise our prestige throughout the globe.

    January 14, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  5. Patricia

    It's a step, a very tiny step. But, to restore America's image requires that we totally get rid of the "Religious Rightists/Neo-Cons running & ruining this country.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  6. Harry

    Why don't we start telling the truth, as soon as this adminstration leaves office, the rest of the world will start doing business with us again. The damage that bush has done to our standing in the world will haunt us for years to come. This administration is a slap in the face of all the World War II veterans that worked, fought, and died to create this great country.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  7. John Mackey

    Not much Bush/Cheney have runed our standing in the world. It's going to take years for President Obama to get this country back on track and restore our good name.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  8. douglas gengler

    it is to little to late. if these detainees were not terrorists when they were held for years without counsel, they sure as hell will be when let go. bush wont shut it down and release these detainees cause he is afraid what they will tell the world about the treatment and torture they endured.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  9. Bert D

    Closing Guantanamo, 10%
    Impeaching Cheney, 65%
    Impeaching Cheney and Bush, 100%
    The rest of the world knows our country has been taken over by a ruthless bunch of war criminals and they know we are powerless to do anything about it. We need an invasion by a great and powerful democracy to free us and save our country or a revolution.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  10. Katy Hill Prescott, Az.

    The only thing that would help more is putting Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld in it.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  11. Gypsy

    The only thing that will help restore America's image would be the the ouster, not just the impeachment, of Bush and Cheney. If our government then acts civilized for two generations, we will age out of the Bush Administration travesty. Nancy Pelosi has the power to start going in the right direction today.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  12. Beth from Michigan

    It could be a small step in the right direction depending on what happened to the prisioners. If we just shipped them to some other secret prison somewhere, with lots of water available, it won't do anything.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  13. Jenny from New York

    Further than NOT closing it.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  14. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Guantanamo is the United States Auschwitz! Germany has still not lived down the nazi concentration camps 63 years after World War II. It will take many decades to repair the damage done by bush,cheney and the warmongering neo-cons. My heart aches because of the loss of my beloved country!

    January 14, 2008 at 3:45 pm |


    January 14, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  16. Chuck

    Jack; How far would closing GTB go to restoring America's image around the world? Personally I don't think it would go NEARLY as far as a change in administrations. I don't believe there's been ANY other administration, in my lifetime, at least, that has done as much HARM to the U.S.A. in the eyes of the world. But then, look back at his credentials.........there were any number of people more qualified. Incidently, I don't count the "Ivy League Diploma".......I believe that to be more "good old boy makes a contribution to the cause" than anything that was really earned. (I notice "NUCLEAR" is still, after 7+ yrs., pronounced "NUCULAR.")
    Chuck OH

    January 14, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  17. Alec, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Unfortunately Nothing can be done to restore this countries good name with the exception of an immediate retirement of this current administration....And I do mean the entire adminstration!

    They have, without conscious, destroyed our standing not only with the American people, but of all people around the world. Get rid of them now!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  18. Cathy Norem

    Closing Gitmo would be a help, but I think impeaching Bush and Cheney and never having to see them again would be a better start. We also need to clean out both Congress and the Senate and get some people in there who actually care about this country and the citizens. Corporations should be made to pay refunds from their huge profits to every citizen. There is so much that has to be done in this country to just repair the image we citizens have of it, how can we be concerned about what other countries think?

    January 14, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  19. edwin b

    If we impeach Bush & Chaney first and foremost, then we need to convict Rumsfelt,Rove,and Rice with war crimes, I beieve that would be a great start to restoring the status of the USA. Then we need to handle the detainee's cases, one at a time.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  20. greg of tucson

    Gunatanamo would be one small step but honestly, it is going to take a lot for the rest of the world to not see America as warmonger central. How bout impeachment? That would say a lot dontcha think?!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  21. Stephen

    I would like to know where the terrorist will go when we close the Gitmo camp. Do we really want them here in the States. If so, then they will end up with high-priced lawyers to get them out and on the streets of our neighborhoods. There's an old saying that I bet you've heard before, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR, YOU JUST MAY GET IT !!!!!!!!!!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  22. Tyler N

    Closing Gitmo would clearly be a good first step to begin the effort to restore the United States' global image. However, it is clearly only a starting point. Further steps must be taken to create a more transparent government, which would include further investigation and prosecution in the case of the destroyed CIA tapes. Obviously our best option for restoring our image would be to impeach our beloved president and vice president, but with a castrated congress I wouldn't be standing on one leg waiting. Though maybe if we all did, or at least started to open our mouths and voice our complaints, this administration would finally be forced to stop disgracing our country.

    Tyler N.
    St. Louis

    January 14, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  23. Allen L Wenger

    It depends on the process. If we bring them to the U.S., abide by the Geneva Conventions, and afford them due process. Then it would help in the long run. However, if we do secret rendition and send them to undisclosed locations in Europe. It won't help very much.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  24. nettie scott

    Never should have been open in the first place I feel that this country have let that
    person that we call a president get away with what ever he want to do.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  25. Karl

    It would be a giant step in the right direction. The world and most Americans with an ounce of sense realize that Bush and Cheney, et al, are nothing but profiteering war criminals who will retire in luxury because unfortunately no one has the guts to do anything about it and Gitmo is just part of their scam. Americans and the world alike are all waiting for January, 2009, for the madness to end and America to get about rebuilding the country we used to be.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  26. Greg from PA

    It would make no difference. It would be naive to believe that Gitmo is the only place where interrogation takes place. The world knows that Bush and his administration has and will continue to use any means available to get information out of suspected terrorists. This has profound implications and we will probably never know the full extent of our government's use of torture. The damage is done.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  27. Rich , McKinney Texas

    America invaded Iraq on the pretense of fighting Terrorism. Iraq never attacked the United States Al-Qaida did. That is who our fight is with, Al-Qaida and its leaders not the Iraqi people to the tune of over 85,000 dead now because of the invasion into Iraq. The United States has killed 24,000 plus or minus insurgents in both Iraq and Afghanistan. That is a cost of 3 lives to every one insurgent. Those are not counting American and coalition forces lives. They are just the numbers of innocent Iraqi lives lost to an American fight in the name of terrorism. How do you explain to an Iraqi family that their relatives were killed by Americans or insurgents in collateral damage because America was attacked by Al-Qaida on 9-11? You can't. Once again, Iraq never attacked America yet we invaded their country. We would never stand for another country doing that to us.

    Essentially what America has done is invaded another country using that country to further its own cause, ( fight on terrorism). Al-Qaida came to the fight with American solders used as lures in a land not belonging to America. Americans are safe in America when these people who never attacked us die daily for an American force fed democracy because America said they needed one. The world stands by and watches.

    Now we are closing a prison to promote our image? Ummm..... That dog won't hunt.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  28. john

    The damage is done. Closing Gitmo is like allowing french fries back on the menu in Congressional cafeterias (remember that whole we hate everything french thing when they wouldn’t send troops to Iraq). What will work are war crime trails, beheadings and freeing the Palestinians from the Israeli occupation and siege of humanitarian goods.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  29. Sam

    Anyone who really wants to restore our reputation already knows the only way to do that is to put Bush, Cheney, Rumfeld, Gonzales, and misc. other republican criminals in Gitmo for a good long time.

    January 14, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  30. Ted in PDX

    The answer is simple. Close Gitmo, Open Cuba. American developers would love it! I hear their need for affordable housing is even bigger than ours. What the Heck, Let Cuba become the 51st state. Think of the possibilities. TIC.

    January 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  31. Annie, Atlanta GA


    I think it would be a small step in the right direction. Prosecuting this administration for war crimes would go further. Unfortunately neither has much chance of happening. Hopefully I'm wrong.

    January 14, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  32. H. Hammour

    shutting it down will not be enough, i guess they should get a chance in a REAL court inside the U.S who ever is guilty then he must pay for his mistakes. and who ever is not he will have the right for a compensation with the U.S government! end of story and every one will be happy.

    January 14, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  33. Brian, Illinois

    The prison violates Habeas Corpus, I mean we have people there who haven't been charged. To me that's not America. I think that the first step is to shut it down. I hate to say it, but whoever gets elected is going to have one heck of a time trying to restore America's image. What would really improve our image would be taking the TRILLIONS of dollars we are spending on the war, and spend it instead on helping things like, making college more affordable, repairing New Orleans, helping the lower class get back up on their feet, funding independent candidates, suppling start up funds for small businesses.

    January 14, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  34. Allen, Hartwell GA

    If we close GITMO, impeach Bush and Cheney, and then put them on trial we will vastly improve the image of the US in the eyes of the citizens of the world.

    January 14, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  35. Noah

    If we close Gitmo it will mean Fidel Castro has won and we cut and run from Cuba! LOL

    January 14, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  36. Ruby Coria, CA.

    Jack, restore our image? is it possiable? yes close Gitmo, get out of the Middle East, let people live how they want. Yes we all know the world lives differant then us so be it. Women don't have rights in Saudi? Oh well it's a mens world, look at Bush giving then guns! Then we fight them because they don't have rights, who are we? Check this out nephews it's to late, to the Americans who travel around the world don't we have to ware a disguse now!

    January 14, 2008 at 6:01 pm |

    Impeach bush/cheney, close gitmo,get out of Irac, stop giving weapons to radicals.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  38. Roger Teekell Las Vegas

    Jack if we close Gitmo and bring those prisoners here to America to stand trial it would be a joke.Some attorney would come up with some snappy phrase like "if they were held at GIT you must aquit" and they would all walk off scott free!

    January 14, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  39. danny rhodes

    Jack, your no more than just another wacky lib who loves to throw darts with no solutions. Go ahead and shut Guantanamo, then transfer all prisoners to your backyard, Jack. Let them breathe the same air as your kids. Your smart-ass nightly remarks criticizing any and all solutions by anyone other than liberals is just typical of people of your ilk

    January 14, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  40. Brian Pound

    Jack,..It might make a ripple of 'forgiveness',..But the " Tidal Wave ' of Anti-Americanism has splashed on every shore around the world.When I was in South America last year,.." Over and Over ,I heard " What`s wrong with the American People?,To keep letting these tragedies take place",...We have lost the respect of the people from around the world.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:07 pm |
  41. Ron

    It wouldn't, Thanks to Bush, Americas image is beyond restoration.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:07 pm |
  42. Johnny

    Closing Guantanamo would go a great distance towards improving our image throughout the world. Not only in the middle east, but throughout the entire world.
    America was once an example of freedom and human rights, we led the world in humanity.
    we now have secret prisons around the world, wiretapping, hold prople in prison for years without legal representation, we debate whether or nor torture is torture, but only if it's us doing the torturing. These are all acts that we once condemned soviet Russia for engaging in.
    America has lost the moral high ground around the world, we have lost the respect and admiration of those in other Nations, because we have become a prime example of what we all know is wrong;
    1. Secret gulags
    2. Torture
    3. wiretappings
    4. crooked politicians
    5. occupying other sovereign nations

    Shame on us, shame on all of us!

    Closing Guantanamo would be far from getting back on the right track, but it would be a good place to start.

    Spartanburg, SC

    January 14, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  43. cliff

    Bill, As you know ,or may know, it's the Clintons playing the race card to isolate white, not black voters. Some Black voters will vote for Hillary no matter what. Thats okay choice is good, but the Clintons are using the Willie Lynch approach to deamonize Obama...Not Good.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  44. marsh

    The Clinton campaign is convinced that the Shaheen comment, connecting Obama with drugs, worked in New Hampshire with white Democrats. She won, and Shaheen's observation about what Republicans would do in the general election, if Obama were to be the candidate, made political sense.
    Now the same comment is echoed by Bob Johnson, an afro-american Clinton campaign figure, in hopes that it will work again in South Carolina with Blacks as well as Whites.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  45. Helen

    As long as GW Bush is in the Whitehouse, I don't think that closing the prison at Gitmo would make much difference internationally. All prisoners should be tried and convicted or if found not guility or given time served, released to their own countries or Nations of their choice first. The most dangerous, hard-line Al Qaedas should have the death penalty carried out if so sentenced.

    The worst that could happen would be bringing all of them to the United States and taking a chance that Al Qaeda mass murders could be loose on our streets.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  46. Lisa from Virginia

    Gitmo is the American Gulag. Closing it would be the first sign we are really turning away from the lawlessness of Bush's regime of torture and detention without charge. We are violating the Geneva Convention; what will happen to OUR soldiers when they are captured? What moral authority will we have, until Gitmo is closed?

    January 14, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  47. Charlene Rush

    Of course, closing Gitmo will greatly improve our standing in the eyes of the world. All, Americans know it, including this administration. However, considering, that the Bushies operate under a CLOUD OF SECRECY, it "frightens them to death" in allow the idea, that their secrets could become public; and they are obviously aware, that this could happen. To them, these kept secrets are unquestionably, the most important factor!

    January 14, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  48. james leslie

    Peterborough Ontario Canada

    It would help..........a bit.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  49. Donald, Butte Montana

    Just the act of closing the facility wouldn't necessary increase our 'image' in the eyes of the world.

    What would truly make a difference is to process these persons out of the prison instead of them sitting them in legal limbo. This is what goes againest everything this country stands for, but we let King George do what he wishes.

    Also, as Chairman, of the Joint Chiefs of Staff why hasn't Admiral Mullen taken some action on his own authority or strongly recommended it to the Sec of Def and President. After all, isn't that his job?? Or is this just another puppet?

    January 14, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  50. Rick Cairns

    It's only a drop in a very empty bucket. But it would be a start.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  51. Sandra Croft

    I don"t know how far it would go but it sure as hell wouldn't hurt.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  52. Rouzy

    Jack, this potential move would be too little and way too late. Having travelled throughout Europe and the Middle East, I have to admit, it is really difficult to say "I am an American" in some places without feeling somewhat embarrassed. Lets win in Afghanistan, take troops out of Iraq, close gitmo and vote responsibly in november.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  53. Wendy

    Much too little, much too late.. The damage has been done.

    Until we can get rid of the current occupier of the White House, the one with the IQ slightly above that of a cabbage, nothing will change.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  54. Cindy Truitt

    It's going to take a lot more than closing Gitmo to restore our image around the world, but it would certainly be a good start. If Bush would swallow his pride and quit being so stubborn and do the RIGHT thing for once by closing this prison, then maybe he could say he accomplished ONE good thing while he was in office.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  55. Matt

    Being the "so called" image of a democracy, how can the people of the United States stand for a prison that tortures war detanees. The national and world attention this issue has got has made it paramount to our national security, Gitmo probally has spawned more terrorist and terror than it has actually stopped. The United States should be an example of hummanity and prosperity, not of torture and degredation.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  56. james leslie

    January 14th, 2008 6:13 pm ET
    Peterborough Ontario Canada

    It would help……….a bit

    January 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  57. Maurice


    It would go a long way toward restoring or credibility throughout the world.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  58. Ryan Von Rembow

    For the people that use Guantanamo Bay as a way to criticize the United States, its closure would only be a temporary change in their temperament until they latched on to the next thing their propaganda overlords in the media or otherwise point them to. What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  59. Aaron

    Jack, we all know talk is cheap. its time for CHANGE.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  60. Pete

    I think that by closing Gauntanamo, America's image would become weaker. The prison is an example of how America protects it's people against those who want to harm us. Those in the prison are there for a good reason, and they should stay there until they prove to be either no harm, or until they give us the information we want from them.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  61. Joe

    At this late stage it would be cutting a loss.It's simply too late to think closing it now would restore anything.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  62. Carolyn

    Shutting down Gitmo won't do anything to repair this country's image. Our current president has run us completely in the ground with both the economy and our international relations. What we need is someone in office without a "my way or the highway" attitude. It's not the way to get things accomplished. It will take years of building back bridges and friendships along with this country actually practice what it preaches for once for us to begin repairing our tarnished image.

    I doubt it will happen, look at the terroristic activities this country was founded on and has yet to appropriately apologize and amend it's wrongs with many of the Native American people past and present. I used to be such a patriot, but now I am ashamed to call myself American with the way things are now.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  63. Nancy J. Wood

    I don't know what closing Gitmo would do for image, but the biggest way to improve our image to the World and even to ourselves is to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney. Until that is done, there won't be any improved image – Gitmo or not.

    Nancy in Texas

    January 14, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  64. Zach Laskin

    How would closing gitmo change America's image? Who cares. America needs to do things that benefit and maintain the security of our country. "Torturing" terrorists is one of the things that helps America stay safe. Why respect the Geneva convention and close the base and stop toturing terroists when the terroists will not stop torturing and beheading US soldiers and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. The base provides an important service to America by keeping our country safe. Did the terrorsts respect our rights when attacked our country? Then why should we respect theirs?

    January 14, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  65. David Mulholland

    Just like everything for this administration....too little too late. Why is it that all of a sudden we are concerned what public opinion of GITMO is. Pres Bush has shown that he doesn't really care about anything but his ego. God love whomever is the next president. Cleaning up after this Bozo.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  66. Vaughn

    Yes, it would be good for the USA's reputation to close down the Gitmo prison camp. But isn't there an even larger issue with having a US military base in another sovereign country in which you are unwelcome? Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees!

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  67. dan

    Closing the base will help our image, but only a little. We will never get the respect of the rest of the world back until and unless we are willing to bring Bush and Cheney up on charges of crimes against humanity. Only then will they see that we are willing clean up our own messes.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  68. mike

    closing gitmo is certainly the best first step in restoring our image. next, get rid of the cowboy boots and six-shooters persona.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  69. Andrew

    It's a step in the right direction. Repairing the damage done by our "fearless leader" has to begin somewhere. Restoring the rule of law in GITMO may lead to it being restored at home.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  70. David

    Closing Guantanamo Bay prison would help, somewhat, to restore America's image abroad. However, the current administration has done so much damage to this country, only time will tell if the United States can recover completely.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  71. Ryan

    As long as we keep pushing others around, claiming that "...from experience, democracy is the only system of government that yields lasting peace and stability," yet waging war every chance we get. Nothing we do will help out image.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  72. Christofer McClelland

    Guantanamo Bay is a symbol of our new foreign policy but if this symbol goes away we are still left with this destructive policy and the world can see that. I wish it was this simple but it will take years and years to undo the damage.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  73. Joe - Ohio


    It would be too little too late. The damage has already been done to our reputation around the world. Closing Gitmo wouldn't fix that....it will take a decade to restore our standing....no thanks to George and his cronies.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  74. Wendy

    Must make this polite!

    When this country shows that it will no longer tolerate the policies of Bush & Co., it will be a start. First clean out the rats nest at 1600 Pennsylvania (guess I don't know how to make this polite!), fumigate and start new with Obama. Then we will have a chance to do something about the stench emanating from our capital and permeating the country.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  75. Buzz Anderson

    It would go some distance. Not far enough, but hey any distance is better than where Chimpy McFlightsuit has taken us so far. Impeachment would do tons better though. The world would see we don't let wars based on lies and cherry picked intelligence go unpunished. NOW THAT would restore a major amount of credibility and faith in America around the world and points beyond.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  76. Client Eastwood

    Jack, The is deliberate attempt to secretly get rid of all the Bush's Trash. It needs to be closed but not without a complete investiagtion by an independent agency, Lets show the world Our Values exist and We show Accountability. Client

    January 14, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  77. Rick


    Remember 911? We had a President who had the guts and the leadership to root out and destroy the terrorists wherever they may be. I, as an American, am proud that America's image is that of a "terrorist destroyer" , and I really don't care what the rest of the world thinks.

    As for Gitmo, I don't care what the world thinks about that either!


    January 14, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  78. Dusty

    Who cares what the rest of the world thinks? I think what we have done at Gitmo is justifiable and absolutley the right thing. These prisoners are killers, plain and simple and many brave Americans put them there.
    The Democrats and the majority of the media need a back-bone and stop bashing the administration,,,,they did what they had to do and I'm glad they did.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:20 pm |


    January 14, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  80. Joe


    Restoring America's image will take a lot more than closing Gitmo. Do we send these Prisoners to a secret prison in Romania, etc., or do we treat them as they are, which is as POW's and provide open public trials? Our country is a disgrace to the world, because we do not live by the principles that created an image of a fair country that allows freedom. We no longer live in a country of freedom.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  81. Terry

    Who gives a damn what the world thinks. We are in a war that was declared on us and these prisoners are enemy combatants picked up on the battlefield. They are the worst of the worst and do not deserve the same rights as our citizens. Where else could they go, their own countries will not take them back.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  82. William Garabrant

    No, closing Gitmo won't help the US's image around the world or at home. "Gitmo" is no longer associated with a prison or military base on Cuba. Gitmo is now a mentality. Closing the prison and moving the mentality to some undisclosed (do you think they'll tell us where they bring the prisoners?) location will actually FUEL the suspicion and resentment. I say, keep "Gitmo" open and clean it up. That would save lot's of money and spare us the logistical, political and diplomatic complications. But.... that doesn't seem to be an option. no surprise there.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  83. Rich , McKinney Texas

    Lets see. Terrorists capture an American they torture them brutalize them and then behead them all the while taking pictures to air on Public television. America captures terrorists and puts them in prison with food and water and clothing and a Koran to peruse and also allows them prayer. I think our image is OK. The terrorists however may not be in as good a shape with the world.
    A lot of what supposedly goes on in Gitmo is hearsay and like any conspiracy theory has a tendency to get media attention even if it does not merit it. The prisoners are not Americans they are prisoners of war . They have no American rights.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  84. Jaap

    Closing Guantanamo after 6 years of disfunctioning would be a good example of pres. Bush' handling of the War on Terror: simply irresponsible.
    Apparently "checks and balances" and American justice are not applicable to what happens in Gitmo.
    Sadly, this has greatly contributed to anti-Americanism in Europe and in the Middle East.
    I believe that Ronald Reagan would have called Guantanamo a gargantuan blooper.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  85. Ace in NJ

    What difference would it make???The damage is already done. Until we change our arrogant foreign policy, the world would still view us as rednecks hoping to bring gulags back anew wherever we go.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  86. Bill

    Closing the prison is not going to affect our image one little bit. What would retore our good graces would be to have trails with legal representation in a civil court and them plead their case infront of a jury based on real evidence!

    January 14, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  87. Michael B.

    Jack, of course not!! Closing Gitmo would do little to absolutly nothing to restore our image around the world. But if Pres. Bush would stop his overly aggressive foreign policy and actually institute dimpolmatic resolutions into his policy then we might get somewhere. If by some miracle he actually does impliment peace in the middle east which many presidents have tried and failed he would not only restore our image drastically he might even increase his municipal approval rating. Now wouldnt that be a change!

    January 14, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  88. Harry Moyer

    Not at all. Symbolic gestures alone will only look as if we are wanting to bury of shame of this misguided Administration. What is needed is a complete airing of this Administrations deeds. If ANY of the Democratic Presidential candidates promised to order a complete investigation, they'd have my vote. You'd think that if you have the presidency; Senate, and House majorities all on your side... airing out this putrid mess would be accomplishable. Then the world community could say we've come long way in restoring trust.

    And sadly, if we have to pay by having another Republican President shown for the rat he is, so be it.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  89. David

    Jack, closing Gitmo probably won't do a lot to improve our image, but it is by far the best first step we could take, and would be a solid indication that we will no longer practice double standards. But, it will then need to be followed up by further actions that reflect our desire to cease being the obnoxious bully we've become in the eyes of the international community. After years of "screaming loudly and carrying a big stick" it's time to "speak softly" through diplomacy again. No one in the world questions that we carry the "big stick," what has caused mistrust is the current administrations reckless use of it, while spewing of threats to use it again anytime we don't get our way.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  90. a. anderson

    just where then would you suggest we confine these extreme radical crazies who routinely decapitate our young, kill and drag our dead soldiers bodies thru the steets, hang their mutilated bodies from bridges and want to kill all of us, in our local jails? closing guantanamo is an over reaction and politically driven.
    you treat an animal like an animal.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  91. Paula from Ohio

    Unfortunately, I think the Bush administration has sullied the waters, and I don't think there will be a quick fix to any of their debaucles, even the British, once our staunch allies only give the U.S. an 8% approval rating.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  92. Tom Bulger

    Testimony of Dr. Steven Kull, Director, Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA), Editor, WorldPublicOpinion.org, March 6, 2007, before House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight, was that of the foreigners polled "51 percent say the US is having a mostly negative influence."

    How far, you ask. Seven years worth of digging a ditch.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  93. Craig G.

    Remember the Alamo.. The battle cry rang on long after the fort was destroyed. For those who are bound and determined to hate, closing Gitmo will do little to erase the memory.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  94. Joyce Long

    We have to wait another whole year to make it right. At least I hope that's how it still works.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  95. Jama Ali

    This would deffinately be a great step to take. As a foreigner and a young muslim who lives in this country, I truelly believe that if this step is taken, it would not only re-store this nation's image in the eyes of the muslim people, but might even transform some hearts. As muslims, we see this prison as one who's existing unlawfully. This must end, for the sake of peace, this country's image in far lands, and for the respect and values of human lives.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  96. Pat

    Don't tease us like that, Jack. It's hard enough that we have no say on this.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  97. Mike

    It's a worthy first step Jack. It will take years of good works to overcome the damage done by this administration, but the sooner we start, the more likely it will improve. I'm not happy to be an "ugly" American, and it makes it hard to show our faces anywhere outside our borders. It can be downright dangerous. Thanks George Bush.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  98. Keith

    Closing Gitmo would only enhance our reputation with the terrorists who want to kill us...and maybe France too! We need to making more room in Gitmo for Bin Laden and Zawahiri...not less

    January 14, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  99. Veronica

    Jack, closing Gitmo will mean nothing, Bush has destroyed our image forever. Maybe Bush should visit Gitmo & take Cheney with him, maybe we can see who "waterboards" the best.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  100. John M.

    Well, Closing Gitmo is probably better than nothing,.. but if America really wants to make a dent in world opinion or the way the world judges us, we should start by imeaching Bush and Cheney. THAT would send a real message that we don't approve of what this administration has done and we're DOING something about it.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:34 pm |
  101. Leone Melville

    I am from Canada and have travelled widely so know of the dislike of the subjects of the world to America.
    Problem is, all peoples call on America when they are in trouble – begging for help in their situation. America always helps.
    Now regarding the prison – keep it there but have it monitored more closely. If you let those people out they will go back to their previous lives with a deeper hatred for America and will reak havock on American citizens wherever they be. Why are some of them not being hanged for their actions?
    As an outsider I have some suggestions for Washington.
    1 – Get out of the Middle East – tapering off over the next year. Clean your own
    house before addressing some other persons.
    2 – Before you leave destroy equipment you are intending to leave behind. I
    know you won't bring back the tanks or other vehicles.
    3 – You have taught the Iraq government how to defend itself – why are they not
    doing it?
    4 – Every time I hear of a solder, whether ours or yours, my heart aches. How
    many must die – how many of our precious jewels must fall and spill their
    blood for a hopeless cause? The Middle East has fought amongst itself for
    thousands of years, you can't stop it. They have a different definition to us of
    what peace is.
    5 – Why are you wasting so many of your resources on this lost cause?
    6 – Why is George Bush selling to the Saudi's missiles etc – I hope the
    Democrats are elected and reverse this sale......

    Now finally – keep the prison open and have it more closely monitored.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  102. Albert, Baltimore, MD

    Closing Guantanamo will not do much in restoring the US image in the world community. The act would most likely be viewed as an attempt by the US administration to diminish the mistreatment of prisoners and minimize their severity of that mistreatment. Closing the prison would present an opportunity for opponents to bring great attention to all the alleged atrocities committed by the US and give the subject of prisoner mistreatment a new life. It might be better to let Guantanamo remain as it is, without the unnecessary publicity of closing it.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  103. R.J. Coker

    Closing Guantanamo would in NO way help America's image considering the CIA has secert torture camps all over the world. It is par with our President making an arms deal with the same country that supplied so many of the 911 terrorists!!!
    "I accuse" Bush's actions as 'sleeping with the enemy'.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  104. John Greenup

    It won't help it won't hurt. Too little toooooo late. As far as what to do with the inmates. Maybe just leave them there to replace the criminals that Cube released and sent to us a while back.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  105. Allen Vandal

    Hi Jack I think it might help a little. But with our freedoms we always show our dirt on television for all to see. The rest of the countries don't. One thing I know would help how we were viewed. If we would put a Import tax on all countries that have sweat shops. Than say that we will lower this tax if they would pay their people more money. Than he would look like the humanitarians most of us are in this country. I thank you for your honest & directness to all that need to here what we the people think. Your a good man. I thank you for standing up for us. Sincerelly Allen

    January 14, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  106. Kyle

    The real issue is about stopping torture and restoring habeas corpus. Strange that Ron Paul warns that we most do both of these and then head generals agree. Listen to Ron Paul he is right about the Iran Gulf of Hormuz incident hoax, and is right about Gitmo, so he is probably right on almost everything and this can not be denied.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  107. H Villafane

    Closing the base is only the first step. Civil liberties must be restored and our Constitution must be adhered to. We cannot be a democracy with the presence of this base. It is going to take a long time to restore our image in the world. The base is the equivalent to the Bastille. Bush gave carte blanche to put people in that prison. What a great example of a great nation we are.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  108. Justin Madden

    It couldn't hurt, Jack, but to restore our image around the world, we need to do a bit more than closing a controversial prison facility. Let's start by electing a President who doesn't embarrass us every time he or she gives a speech.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:39 pm |
  109. John

    Sure, closing Guantanamo eliminates a nagging display of American hypocrisy. More importantly though, it takes a meaningful step towards reforming the mechanisms of our controversial War on Terror, the results of which matter far more than inconsistent rhetoric.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:40 pm |
  110. gd,va

    The world view of us will not change until we as Americans go to the polls in November and show the world that we do not stand for the current status quo. The rest of the world is praying that what they see now is not who we really are as a nation . We must end "diplomacy by occupation",close Guantanamo, and get back to being a world leader .

    January 14, 2008 at 6:41 pm |
  111. Eddie Sen

    Hello Jack,

    Re the ongoing comments by Bob Johnson. One wonders now about the real reason for ex-president Clinton (slap bang in the middle of blacks in New York) to move to Harlem in mid 2001. Now we know. In 2001 itself the Clintons were planning for Mrs. Clinton to run in 2008 and therefore were planning for the black votes.

    Bob Johnson is a pawn. The real wheeler dealer is our ex president with a rather illustrous past and a backgroud.

    Clinton as usual is a master planner. Ask Ross Perot.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:43 pm |
  112. Glen Snyder

    This President and his Administration has hurt our reputation throughout the entire world and with world leaders irregardless what happens with the prison at Guantanamo Bay. There has been eight full years of biligerent and bully mentality with this administration that it will take another eight years to repair that damage that this President has burdened future Presidents and generations to come. What a wonderful legacy this President built for himself.

    January 14, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  113. Doug Wills. Sr

    Please tell me how Mitt Romney can call himself a "native son" of Michigan. I am 67 years old, have voted in most every election since I have been old enough. I also have lived in Michigan most of my life, except for one year in Chicago. The first time I heard of Mitt Romney was last summer. I also remember his father when he was Gov. of Michigan. To my way of thinking, Mitt fooled a lot of people into making them think he has strong ties to Michigan....I am not impressed.

    January 15, 2008 at 10:37 pm |