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Hagel, Dempsey: Care of Guantanamo Detainees an Ethical Responsibility

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2013 – The United States has an ethical responsibility to assure the health and well-being of detainees at the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where some have been on a hunger strike for several months, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said today .

“We have a responsibility, an ethical responsibility, to assure the health and well-being of every detainee and certainly we’re doing everything we can to do that,” Hagel said in response to a question during a Pentagon news conference. He added that President Barack Obama said last month he intends to renew efforts to try to close the facility. “We’re doing everything we can to protect those detainees and we do need a resolution to this,” Hagel said. “The president has said that, and he’s working toward it.”

Dempsey echoed Hagel’s thoughts, noting the importance of the military role at the site.

“The United States military guards Guantanamo and our responsibility is clear: … the well-being of the prisoners, the safety of both them and the guards,” Dempsey said.


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Chuck Hagel
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey

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