President Obama, it's time to close Guantánamo!
Dear friends and supporters,
Now that the dust has settled on the Presidential election, and Thanksgiving is over, we're beginning to make plans for how to persuade President Obama to revisit his promise to close Guantánamo, which he made when he first took office four years ago.
This time, of course, we want the President to actually follow through on his promise, to ensure that one key part of his legacy will not be that he was the President who promised to close Guantánamo, but failed to do so.
Today there are still far too many powerful people, in Congress and the media, who champion the existence of Guantánamo as part of their own misguided agendas, but objectively it is clear that Guantánamo will, historically, be regarded as the most awful stain on America's reputation, and it will be noted if a President -- in this case Barack Obama -- failed to close it not because he believed in its existence, but because he found it politically inconvenient to follow through on his promise.
If you have not already read it, we encourage you to read our latest article about the closure of Guantánamo, entitled, simply, "President Obama, It's Time to Fulfill Your Promise to Close Guantánamo
," in which we state the facts and present the options. Primarily, President Obama possesses the power to bypass Congress, which has imposed onerous restrictions on his ability to released cleared prisoners -- currently 86 of the remaining 166 prisoners -- and we urge him to use this waiver as soon as possible.
We are also looking at establishing a petition, to be launched on the 11th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo, on January 11, 2013, to encourage President Obama to secure the release of these 86 men.
We also wish to point out to you our latest article, "On Guantánamo, the New York Times Abdicates Responsibility
," which responds to a "Room for Debate" that the New York Times ran last week, in which the editors invited six commentators to debate the question, "Time to End Military Tribunals?" and also to comment on whether, in his second term, President Obama should "finally close Guantánamo."
We reluctantly concede that there may be grounds for discussing the legitimacy of the military commissions, but we refuse to accept that there can be a legitimate debate about whether or not to close Guantánamo.
We accept that the New York Times has swiftly addressed its irresponsibility, running an editorial at the weekend entitled, "Close Guantánamo Prison
," but we remain convinced that it is worthwhile to address omissions and distortions regarding the coverage of Guantánamo in the mainstream media like the New York Times, because of the enduring influence of the dark forces that want to keep Guantánamo open.
Thank you, as ever, for your support.