Gen. Wesley Clark on Possible Release of Gitmo Detainees

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," June 29, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: The Supreme Court ruled that military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay are illegal, unconstitutional. Now the White House is trying to figure out how to make them legal.

According to a FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll, 48 percent of those asked think we are safer because of information gathered from these prisoners. So what happens if these terrorists who have spent years in U.S. custody get out?

Here's former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and FOX News Channel analyst General Wesley Clark. General, what now?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK, FORMER NATO COMMANDER: Hey, John. Well, I think that what we need to be doing is turning these people over to international justice. You know, these terrorists are not a threat just to the United States. They're a threat to the whole world. They're a threat to the Britons and the French and the Germans and the Saudis and everybody.

So put an international tribunal together. Bring the evidence on. Let international judges decide what to do with them, and let them be incarcerated for the rest of their lives. But take the heat off the United States of America. This is a world problem, not just an America problem.

And, by the way, there's no reason to try to reconstruct military tribunals. They're not an offense against the military. They're attacking American society. We need the whole world to come down on these terrorists, not just the men and women in uniform who are charged with doing the fighting overseas.

GIBSON: Gen. Clark, according to Judge Napolitano trying to explain this to me — and I am a layman in these matters — and maybe you are, too — the president has a choice of putting some of these people on trial and revealing the intelligence we have as evidence against them, or maybe sending them to another country.

For instance, if they were picked up on the field of battle in Afghanistan, turning them over to the Karzai regime in Afghanistan, where they would be imprisoned and tried. Is that, in your mind, a workable solution?

CLARK: Well, that might be one workable solution. I would rather see an international court established. I think you have to look at each specific case and all the evidences that is available in that particular case to determine whether or not you can share that information publicly or privately with the court. So, I don't think you can make a sweep of the hand and say, well, we couldn't possibly bring them to trial because we couldn't share any evidence. Of course you can share evidence. Much of this evidence is gained by testimony by other people. Those people are available as witnesses. Much of the evidence is from the field of battle. They could have been seen holding weapons. Soldiers can testify as to that. That's the kind of evidence that the United States needs to display publicly to gain credibility, rather than having to keep the sore of Gitmo there on our shoulders. We need to get rid of that as soon as possible.

GIBSON: Why do you think that our international friends would participate in an international tribunal?

CLARK: Well, they're the ones who have been criticizing Gitmo. Let them belly up to the bar and take their turn at helping protect the world, like they say they want to do. Let us see their values. Let's put them on the line. You have got to get some other people in the boat with you on this.

You know, the president talks about leadership. I would like to see him show some international leadership on this issue. There's no reason to sequester these people under U.S. control exclusively when they're a threat to the whole world. Let the whole world participate. Let us set the rules. Let us control the evidence, as we write the rules for the court, and then let the court decide.

GIBSON: Gen. Wesley Clark, former NATO supreme allied commander and a FOX News Channel analyst.

CLARK: Thank you.

GIBSON: General, always good to see you. Thanks.

CLARK: Thanks, John.

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