Kinzinger: Gitmo Detainees 'Treated Better' Than U.S. Inmates

By Susan Jones | February 3, 2015 | 5:29 AM EST

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) (AP File Photo)

( - Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) spent the weekend at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where America's enemies "are treated very well," he said.

"It kind of blew my expectations away," Kinzinger told Fox News's Greta Van Susteren on Monday. "I would probably compare it to just a prison in the United States. People are treated very humanely. They are treated very well...Actually I think they are treated better prisons in the United States.

"And you know, any time they want to have prayer time, that goes on uninterrupted. They get time to go outside. They are treated very well. You know, it's not -- honestly, it's not something you and I would ever want to be in. It's a prison. It's not fun. But you go and look at it, and there is no doubt that these people are being treated according to the Geneva Convention and even beyond that.

"And by the way, they don't deserve Geneva Convention protections. It's out of the kindness of our heart...that we give them that."

Kinzinger said he was not allowed to communicate directly with the enemy combatants, "because a lot of them were kept in isolation," and Gitmo isn't a "petting zoo."

But Kinzinger said he did speak with the U.S. troops who guard the detainees.

"These are fantastic Americans. They put themselves really in harm's way, and they're really in a battle front because these prisoners do things called splashing where they splash body fluids on them all the time."

Kinzinger said there are two kinds of inmates: Those who are defiant and misbehave, and those who are "peaceful" but who manipulate other "lower-level" inmates, encouraging them to "act out."

Kinzinger said the guards told him, "There is no doubt that every one of these people here would kill you if given the opportunity. And I have very little doubt they would go back on the battlefield," he added.

Although President Obama insists on closing the prison -- and continues to release Gitmo detainees to other countries -- Kinzinger said he thinks Gitmo must remain open, "for now."

"We're still -- we're in a very dangerous point in the war on terror now. It seems to be flaring up again. There is no doubt that if we release them back in the wild they will go back to the battlefield. And they go back with hero status too because now they've survived Gitmo. ...So I think keeping them incarcerated for the duration of this war is important."

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