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Congressmen Visit Afghan Detainees in Cuba - 2002-01-25

A U.S. Congressional delegation traveled to to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Friday to evaluate intelligence that captured al-Qaida and Taleban members are providing the U.S. military.

Two dozen members of Congress traveled to the U.S. Naval base at Guantanamo to find out just what ties the al-Qaida and Taleban captives rounded up in Afghanistan may have to terrorism.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson is among those seeking answers. "It's that kind of critical information that will help us then plan to avoid these terrorist events in the future," Senator Nelson said.

U.S. Southern Command spokesman Steve Lucas says the Pentagon has stopped transferring war captives from Afghanistan to Cuba until more space is available in Guantanamo. "The forces at Guantanamo are continuing their mission of building additional facilities," said Mr. Lucas.

The Pentagon has come under sharp criticism from European governments and human rights groups for its refusal to classify those held at the U.S. Naval base as prisoners of war. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld denies those being detained at Guantanamo are receiving anything but humane treatment - or that the military is violating Geneva Conventions regarding the treatment of war captives.