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Lawmakers defend Guantanamo conditions at hearing

[JURIST] Reporting on their weekend visit [JURIST report] to Guantanamo [JURIST news archive], lawmakers told the US House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that conditions at the facility were better than expected. Committee Chair Duncan Hunter (R-CA) [official site] said the hearings should lay to rest "irresponsible allegations" about poor conditions there. Army Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, the general in charge of the prison, said investigators were "just beginning" to get useful information [Los Angeles Times report] from detainees and that it was "obvious" that the facility needs to remain open. Democrats complained that the hearing was skewed by a refusal to hear testimony from a lawyer representing the detainees themselves. Reuters has more. The House Armed Services Committee provides recorded audio of Wednesday's hearing, as well as a copy of the Guantanamo detainee menu [PDF].

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