Rep. Steve King, Republican of Iowa, objected last week to the Obama administration’s most recent transfer of 15 detainees who had been held in the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, telling a local news station that Guantanamo is “a very humane establishment” that is in what “could be a resort area.”
“They have air conditioned rooms in a Caribbean island,” he said of the prisoners, most of whom have been held for years without facing charges, “I mean that would make a terrific resort area there, they set the temperature at 75 degrees because that’s their cultural temperature, they get the choice of three different choices of a meal three times a day, so they’re looking at nine halal means that they get to pick from. I mean, everything is handled very, very humanely down there.”
When Siouxland News asked King what he would do to solve the problem of Guantanamo, King repeated his praises of the facility’s amenities and said that it “would not be being inhumane” to keep prisoners there for life without trial.
“If they killed Americans and in violation of international law, then under international law, we’re treating them better than the most severe punishment that we could deliver to them,” he said. “If you’re in violation of international law, then the penalty for that is execution. So if we keep them in a Caribbean resort area—it could be a resort area, but if we keep them in a Caribbean resort climate with 75 degrees and halal meals and everything handled respectfully, as it absolutely is now, and they stayed there for life, that would not be being inhumane, that would be being human towards the lives of the people they would kill if we turned them loose.“