LITTLE ROCK, AR - Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee says detainees being held at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on suspicion of connections to terrorism enjoy conditions better than many prisons in the United States.
Huckabee, who was Arkansas governor until January, says that the government's handling of Guantanamo detainees has come to symbolize "what's gone wrong" in the fight against terrorism. But he said yesterday that it's better to err on the side of protecting the American people.
Huckabee, who has visited Guantanamo, says the U.S. prison at the Naval base in Cuba is better than many prisons in the United States. He says American prisoners most likely would prefer Guantanamo to incarceration in Arkansas.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has said Guantanamo should be closed and others have criticized the federal government for holding suspects indefinitely and apparently without evidence. Huckabee says he understands these concerns, but the prison should remain open and the detainees remain in custody.