Eleven Years of Guantánamo: Close It Now!
Dear friends and supporters,
It's the 11th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo -- a day that we all hoped would never come, and that, four years ago, when President Obama took office, few, if any of us thought would be marked with almost terminal inertia regarding the prison's closure in all three branches of the US government. To mark the occasion, we are delighted to be publishing an inspiring plea to President Obama, calling for justice for the remaining prisoners, written by former prisoner Omar Deghayes. See "A Message from Omar Deghayes on the 11th Anniversary of the Opening of Guantánamo
Although President Obama promised to close Guantánamo within a year, when he took office four years ago, he failed to do so and has lacked courage when it comes to making the case for the prison's closure. The prisoners have also been failed by Congress, where lawmakers have used Guantánamo to score political points, and have passed legislation designed to prevent is closure, and to prevent any more prisoners being released. This is in spite of the fact that 86 of the remaining 166 prisoners were cleared for release by President Obama's interagency Guantánamo Review Task Force. The courts too have failed, with Conservative judges in the D.C. Circuit Court killing off the prisoners' habeas corpus rights, and making sure that any legal avenue to release has been shut down, and the Supreme Court ignoring the prisoners' plight.
As we explained in previous article, "Join Us in Washington D.C. on January 11, 2013 to Tell President Obama to Close Guantánamo
," Tom Wilner and Andy Worthington, the steering committee of the "Close Guantánamo" campaign, will be discussing the ongoing need to close Guantánamo at a panel discussion at the New America Foundation in Washington D.C., at 1899 L Street, N.W., at 10am on Friday January 11, along with Col. Morris Davis, the former chief prosecutor of the military commission, who resigned in 2007. Col. Davis was signatory to the Close Guantánamo mission statement that was issued when we launched our campaign a year ago. After the event, the speakers will join a rally and march from the Supreme Court to the White House, via the Capitol, at which Andy and Col. Davis will speak again.
Let's make this the year that we push President Obama to revisit his broken promise and start thinking about what his legacy will be if he is remembered as the President who promised to close Guantánamo but then failed to do so because it was politically inconvenient.
Thank you for your support, and please, if you can, tell your friends and family to join us
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