Former United States Secretary of State Colin Powell said yesterday that the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay for foreign terrorism suspects should be immediately closed, and its inmates moved to the US.
Mr Powell, who in a 2003 speech to the UN Security Council made the case for war against Iraq for possessing weapons of mass destruction that were never found, described the prison in Cuba as a "major problem" for the US's image abroad and has done more harm than good.
"Guantanamo has become a major, major problem ... in the way the world perceives America, and if it were up to me I would close Guantanamo, not tomorrow but this afternoon ... and I would not let any of those people go. I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system.
Essentially, we have shaken the belief the world had in America's justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open and creating things like the military commission. We don't need it and it is causing us far more damage than any good we get for it."
That's all very well, but why did he not say this several years ago?