With Trump heading for the White House, Obama has just 70 days left to close Guantánamo
Please watch our new video, calling for President Obama to keep working towards the closure of Guantánamo in his last 70 days in office.
Here at Close Guantánamo, it would be foolish of us to pretend that the election of Donald Trump is anything other than an impediment to the closure of the prison. Quite how much is not yet clear. On the campaign trail, Trump promised to keep the prison open, to add to its population, and to reinstate torture, but, as with so many of his statements, it is as yet impossible to know how much meaning was behind his words.
Although it is clear that there are those within the Republican Party in Congress who will see his election as an opportunity to keep Guantánamo open, and to argue for sending new prisoners there (something that President Obama has wisely refused to do throughout his presidency), this will not actually be easy to achieve. The cost of keeping Guantánamo open is already difficult to justify, and adding to its population seems unlikely, given how widely reviled Guantánamo is internationally, and how there is no emergency that would provide an excuse for expanding the prison’s population.
That said, it is clear that efforts were already being made to ensure that Guantánamo would finally be closed if Hillary Clinton became president, efforts that are now in vain.
While we still hope that President Obama might be able to close the prison by executive order, we acknowledge that it seems highly unlikely, in large part because it would require the cooperation of the authorities wherever a prison on the U.S. mainland would need to be located, and that is improbable, given how persistent the scaremongering about the prisoners has been over the last 15 years.
However, while we begin to draw up plans for how to deal with Donald Trump after Jan. 20 (and rest assured, we will keep you posted), we remain committed to keeping pressure on President Obama, during his last ten weeks in office, to make sure that all the prisoners approved for release (20 of the remaining 60 prisoners
) are released before he finally departs from the White House.
To that end, please watch our new campaign video
, featuring some of the 500+ celebrities and concerned citizens across the U.S. and around the world who have taken photos of themselves, at 50-day intervals throughout the year, with posters counting down how many days President Obama had left to close Guantánamo. The photos are part of our Countdown to Close Guantánamo, which we launched in January, and today, as our Gitmo Clock
shows, President Obama has just 69 days left. Please also read Close Guantánamo co-founder Andy Worthington’s article promoting the video
, just published on our website.
The video also features Andy’s band The Four Fathers
playing their new song, “Close Guantánamo,” and you can listen to the whole song, and buy it as a download, on Bandcamp
So please join us. Print off a “50 days left” poster for Nov. 30
, take a photo with it, and send it to us at email@example.com, to add to the photos here
. Please also free free to tell us where you’re from, and, if you would like, to send a message to President Obama.
If you’re also interested in what’s been happening at Guantánamo lately, please read Andy’s previous article, In Contentious Split Decision, Appeals Court Upholds Guantánamo Prisoner Ali Hamza Al-Bahlul’s Conspiracy Conviction
, about the latest episode in the long-running legal saga of Al Hamza al-Bahlul, whose case highlights why it is inadvisable to prosecute people for war crimes that are not universally recognized, but were, instead, dreamt up by Congress, a lesson that the Republicans, shortly to resume complete control of government for the first time since the excesses of the `bush years, should bear in mind.
With thanks, as ever, for your ongoing support. If you are interested in supporting our work financially, we have recently set up a Paypal account to receive donations, and a “Donate” button can be found on the top right of every page of the Close Guantánamo website
The "Close Guantánamo" team
P.S. Please, if you will, also 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. Please also note that we can be found on Twitter here
and on Facebook here