A good start, President Obama, but now you need to release some prisoners!
In his latest article for "Close Guantánamo," entitled, "On Guantánamo, We Still Have Three Urgent Demands for President Obama
," Andy Worthington congratulates the President on appointing an envoy at the State Department, Cliff Sloan, to work on the release of prisoners, but points out that this is just a start.
What is also needed urgently is for prisoners to be released from Guantánamo -- some of the 56 Yemenis cleared for release by President Obama's Guantánamo Review Task Force in January 2010, and some of the 30 men from other countries who were also cleared for release.
We understand that President Obama has run up against serious opposition in Congress over the last few years, but we also know that a waiver exists -- in the legislation that lawmakers passed to try and prevent the release of prisoners -- that allows the President to bypass Congress and release prisoners if he regards it as being "in the national security interests of the United States."
It clearly is in America's interests to free men whose release was recommended three and half years ago. If you agree -- and we are sure you do -- then please share this article, and feel free to write to President Obama to tell him to use his waiver without further delay; specifically, to direct Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to make the necessary certifications so that some of these 86 men -- who are mostly on the prison-wide hunger strike that is now on its 135th day -- can be freed, to be reunited with their families.
Contact President Obama
Contact the White House and tell President Obama, "Please release the 86 prisoners cleared for release by your inter-agency task force, and initiative objective reviews for the 46 others that you designated for indefinite detention without charge or trial in an executive order two years ago." Call 202-456-1111 or submit a comment online
. Please also tell President Obama, "Please direct the Secretary of Defense to use his authority under the law to release the men who will not be charged.”
With thanks, as ever, for your support,
The "Close Guantánamo" team
P.S. Please, if you will, ask your friends and family to join us
-- just an email address is required to be counted amongst those opposed to the ongoing existence of Guantánamo, and to receive updates of our activities by email.