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Rumsfeld: Guantanamo Key Part Of War On Terror

Donald Rumsfeld (file photo) 14 June 2005 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the Guantanamo detention camp remains a key part of the U.S. "war on terror" despite controversy over the treatment of detainees.

Defending the Cuban camp and the treatment of detainees, Rumsfeld said in Washington today that no detention facility in the "history of warfare has been more transparent or received more scrutiny than Guantanamo."

He said the United States spends more on meals for detainees to meet their "religious dietary requirements" than it does on rations for U.S. troops.

"The U.S. military has also gone to unprecedented lengths to respect the religious sensibilities of these enemies of civil society, including the issuance of detailed regulations governing the handling of the Koran and arranging schedules for detainees around the five daily calls for prayer required by the Muslim faith," Rumsfeld said.

Rumsfeld joined other U.S. administration officials in rebuffing criticism of Guantanamo after some key figures from President George W. Bush's Republican Party joined calls for the camp's closure.

Yesterday, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney declared that there are no plans to close the camp.