Rep. Cardin to Travel to Guantanamo Bay to Review Status of Terror Suspects

Special to the Chronicle

Congressman Is Senior Democrat on U.S. Helsinki Commission
WASHINGTON, DC, July 23, 2003-- U.S. Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, senior Democrat on the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Commission Chairman U.S. Rep. Christopher Smith, R-NJ, will lead a small delegation of House members on a special fact-finding trip to the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on Saturday, July 26.

The delegation will meet with those who are in charge of the suspected terrorists who were captured during the Afghanistan War. They also will review the manner in which the suspects are being interrogated and their overall treatment.

"I am looking forward to meeting with officials at the Naval Base and reviewing the interrogation and treatment of the detainees," said Cardin in a prepared statement to the press. " We need clear objectives in terms of these suspected terrorists and I am looking forward to reviewing those objectives with officials there."

The Helsinki Commission was created in 1976 by Congress as an independent U.S. agency charged with monitoring military security, economic cooperation, human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe, Central Asia, and North America. The Commission also undertakes a variety of diplomatic efforts designed to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts among participating states. It monitors the activities of the 55 nations, including the United States, who are participating members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which is the largest regional security organization in the world. Cardin has served on the Commission since 1993.

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This story was published on July 23, 2003.