If Patrick Henry were a member of the United Nations, history books would now contain the brave proclamation: “Give me a committee on liberty, or give me a commission to form a roundtable task force on death.”

The U.N. “Committee Against Torture” has recommended in a new report that the United States close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, that houses captured terror suspects. Even though anybody who’s ever served on a committee knows that a single sentence containing the words “committee” and “torture” is woefully redundant, the proposal is nonetheless worth further consideration.

According to USA Today, the committee said it was worried that detainees were being held for protracted periods with insufficient legal safeguards and without judicial assessment of the justification for their detention.

“The state party should cease to detain any person at Guantanamo Bay and close the detention facility,” the concerned panel of 10 independent experts said, just before agreeing on a separate motion to send a “pretty please” bouquet to Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

I say do it – close Gitmo. Apart from the prisoners, it’s becoming clear that American soldiers are increasingly and unnecessarily in harm’s way. Just last week, Gitmo guards entered a room to stop an apparent suicide attempt (why guards would be rude enough to interrupt the Lord’s work is beyond me) and then the prisoners attacked them. Of course, by “prisoners,” I mean “illegally harvested detainees.”

The United Nations is urging the United States to close the prison that has driven inmates to master thespian-style suicide, but once the United States closes Gitmo, what do we do with the prisoners? According to the United Nations, the United States can’t send them home because the Committee Against Torture also said detainees should not be returned to any country where they could face a “real risk” of being tortured.

I thought prisoners were already being tortured at Gitmo? One prisoner reported that he was humiliated by being stripped naked, forced to bark like a dog, and subjected to loud music. Alleged Gitmo recreations of Elton John’s wedding reception aside, the question arises that, if detainees shouldn’t be held by the United States, and they can’t be sent home, then what?

There is only one answer: The prisoners should be sent to stay at U.N. headquarters, safely harbored in the meeting rooms of the “Committee Against Torture,” until it is decided what to do with these “pure as the bomb-blast driven snow” victims of Bush’s illegal and immoral war on terror.

Lead by example, United Nations! Announce to the world that you’re willing to put our money where your mouth is by adopting these oppressed, wrongly accused, unaccused, civil-rights deprived detainees.

In addition, I urge the United States government to abide by the U.N.’s recommendation and close Gitmo now, and immediately transport all detainees directly to the nearest U.N. offices. There, the prisoners can be looked after and fed well, and do whatever they please. We’ll call it a “roil-for-food” program.

While in the soft care of the United Nations, former prisoners can seek emotional counseling for their past abuse, and take comfort in the knowledge that the new eco-friendly 1/8 gallon-per-flush toilets at the renovated U.N. building in New York aren’t anywhere near powerful enough to flush a book down. The United Nations needn’t worry about U.S. forces coming to re-abduct the former prisoners, either, because my plan includes locking them in the buildings with all U.N. personnel so they’ll be safe.

The accommodations at U.N. headquarters are getting better all the time thanks to major remodeling, and, upon arrival, the former detainees will find the luxurious offices, increased ventilation, fire sprinklers and hot-and-cold-running appeasers to be a welcome respite from Gitmo.

The prisoners should be as comfortable as Keith Richards in a coconut tree among the pencil-pushing bureaucratic dorks, Euro-wimps, Third World finger-pointers, America bashers and globalist pantywaists who comprise the United Nations.

Investigators from the United Nations have long complained that many of them haven’t visited Gitmo because they’ve been denied to opportunity to question detainees themselves. Well now’s their chance!

Come on, President Bush, the time has come to admit our failings. Close Gitmo, and hand all terror suspects over to Kofi Annan as long as it’s agreed that they will remain in lockdown inside United Nations offices around the world. After all, the safest place on the planet for somebody wanted by the United States is being locked in a room marked “Committee Against Terror.” I can’t vouch for the safety of the committee, however.

It’s a plan that may very well take care of two problems at the same time.

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