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(11/28/08) -

Few Americans Would Close Guantanamo

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Few adults in the United States want their president-elect to shut down a notorious detention facility, according to a poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. Only 29 per cent of respondents believe Barack Obama should close the Guantanamo Bay prison.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Few adults in the United States want their president-elect to shut down a notorious detention facility, according to a poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. Only 29 per cent of respondents believe Barack Obama should close the Guantanamo Bay prison.

In May 2005, a 308-page report by the human rights watchdog Amnesty International criticized the U.S. government for its handling of prisoners in several detention centres, including one at Guantanamo Bay where about 400 "enemy combatants"—most of them from Afghanistan—were being held. Former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have urged the federal administration to close the prison.

In American elections, candidates require 270 votes in the Electoral College to win the White House. On Nov. 4, Democratic nominee Obama secured a majority of electoral votes, defeating Republican candidate John McCain. Obama will become the first African American president in U.S. history when he takes over from George W. Bush—who served two four-year terms—on Jan. 20, 2009.

Earlier this month, Obama discussed his views on the detention centre, saying, "I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I have said repeatedly that America doesn’t torture. And I’m going to make sure that we don’t torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America’s moral stature in the world."

Polling Data

Should President Obama close the Guantanamo Bay prison?

Yes

29%

No

44%

Not sure

27%

Source: Quinnipiac University Polling Institute
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 2,210 registered American voters, conducted from Nov. 6 to Nov. 10, 2008. Margin of error is 2.1 per cent.