CLOSE GUANTÁNAMO NOW!
The following statement was endorsed by the individuals and organizations listed below in January 2012, when this campaign and website was launched. It has been amended since then only to reflect changes in the numbers of prisoners held, and those cleared for release, and the number of years since the prison opened.
January 11, 2015 marked the 13th anniversary of the opening of the Bush Administration's "war on terror" prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
On his second day in office, President Obama pledged to close Guantánamo within a year. Yet it remains open, undermining America's values and national security.
Almost half of the remaining 122 prisoners – 55 men in total – were either cleared for release in January 2010 by an interagency Task Force established by President Obama, which was made up of the top intelligence and law enforcement officials in the nation (50 in total) or by Periodic Review Boards established in 2013 (an additional five prisoners). Some of these men were previously cleared by the Bush Administration – some as long ago as 2004.
It is unacceptable that the U.S. government continues to hold men that its own national security experts have recommended for release or transfer, and that Congress has intervened to maintain this deplorable state of affairs.
We call for the immediate closure of Guantánamo.
Guantánamo harms our nation every day it stays open, and it continues to serve as a potent symbol for terrorist recruitment. As President Obama explained in a speech in early 2009, "instead of serving as a tool to counter terrorism, Guantánamo became a symbol that helped al-Qaeda recruit terrorists to its cause. Indeed, the existence of Guantánamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained." That remains true today.
Guantánamo also undermines our bedrock commitment to the rule of law, making that fundamental principle less secure for all Americans.
We call on the President to honor the principled and pragmatic commitment he made on taking office, and we insist that Congress stop making Guantánamo – and the fate of the men imprisoned there – into a cynical game of political maneuvering.
The individuals above have endorsed our Mission Statement; this list is in formation and as we receive new signers we will add their names here. Content on the rest of the website does not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the signers of this statement.
Please join us, and then spread the word to all your friends and contacts. Let's make 2015 the year that we close Guantánamo!
For further information, please contact Andy Worthington, senior writer for "Close Guantánamo," and a member of the steering committee with Tom Wilner.