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Clinton, McCain say reform needed at Guantanamo Bay

[JURIST] Former President Bill Clinton said in a Financial Times interview [transcript] published Monday that the US government should "close down or clean up" Guantanamo Bay prison [FT report]. On the weekend leading GOP Senator John McCain also pressed for change if not closure, urging the United States [NJ Star-Ledger report] to try the hundreds of detainees being held at the detention center designated for terror suspects after the September 11 attacks. The Pentagon estimates the number of detainees at Guantanamo to be approximately 520 men, of which only four have been charged. These latest comments follow calls for change from former President Jimmy Carter [JURIST report], Democratic Senator Joseph Biden [JURIST report], GOP Senator Mel Martinez [JURIST report], and many human rights groups [JURIST report]. Despite increasing opposition to the detention center, President Bush [JURIST report] and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld [JURIST report] have thusfar rejected calls to close it down, citing the necessity of holding terror suspects who cannot be transferred elsewhere. Reuters has more.

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