I wrote the following article (as “New Close Guantánamo Video Reminds President Obama He Has Just 70 Days Left to Close the Prison Before He Leaves Office”) for the “Close Guantánamo” website, which I established in January 2012, on the 10th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo, with the US attorney Tom Wilner. Please 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.
Video features photos of some of the 500+ celebrities and concerned citizens who have sent in photos this year for the Countdown to Close Guantánamo, and a new song, “Close Guantánamo,” by The Four Fathers.
Following the news that Donald Trump has won the Presidential Election, the Close Guantánamo campaign has launched a new promotional video, urging President Obama to do all he can to fulfill the promise to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay that he made on his second day in office back in January 2009.
We believe that the need to close the prison is more urgent than ever, given that, on the campaign trail, Donald Trump promised to keep Guantánamo open, to send new prisoners there, and to reintroduce torture.
The Close Guantánamo campaign was established in January 2012, on the 10th anniversary of the opening of the prison, by journalist Andy Worthington and attorney Tom Wilner, who was Counsel of Record to the Guantánamo prisoners in their Supreme Court cases in 2004 and 2008.
Tom Wilner says: “Obama has the authority to close Guantánamo. He has 70 days to do it. This lawless prison should not be his legacy.”
Andy Worthington says: “No more delays. Anything could happen after Donald Trump’s inauguration. Obama needs to close Guantánamo in his last ten weeks in office.”
The Countdown to Close Guantánamo initiative was launched in January by Andy and music legend Roger Waters (ex-Pink Floyd), and over 500 celebrities and concerned citizens across the U.S. and around the world have sent in photos of themselves reminding President Obama, at 50-day intervals, of how many days remained for him to close Guantánamo. See the Celebrity Photos here, and Public Photos here, and here and also here. The newest photos are here. To get involved, print off a “50 days to go” poster, take a photo with it, and send it to us for November 30. You can also include a message to President Obama, if you wish, and let us know where you’re from.
The video features, amongst others, Roger Waters, Brian Eno, David Morrissey, former prisoners Shaker Aamer, Moazzam Begg and Djamel Ameziane, Reprieve’s founder Clive Stafford Smith, Andy Slaughter MP, Fowzia Siddiqui, the sister of “war on terror” victim Aafia Siddiqui, attorney Nancy Hollander, Yahdid Ould Slahi, the brother of recently released Guantánamo prisoner Mohamedou Ould Slahi, Yemi Hailemariam, the partner of UK citizen and Ethiopian political activist Andy Tsege, kidnapped by the Ethiopian government and abandoned by the British government, journalist Yvonne Ridley, Joy Hurcombe, the chair of the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, journalist and doctor Saleyha Ahsan, Joanne MacInnes, the co-founder of the We Stand With Shaker campaign, Mexican playwright Humberto Robles, and Muslim campaigner Suliman Gani.
For further information, and to discuss any aspects of the campaign to close Guantánamo relating to President Obama’s last ten weeks in office, and the significance of Donald Trump’s election victory, please contact Close Guantánamo.
Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose debut album ‘Love and War’ and EP ‘Fighting Injustice’ are available here to download or on CD via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and the Countdown to Close Guantánamo initiative, launched in January 2016), the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).
To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, and The Complete Guantánamo Files, an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.
When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:
Here’s my latest article, a cross-post from http://www.closeguantanamo.org of the launch of the new promotional video for the Close Guantanamo campaign, featuring some of the 500+ celebrities and concerned citizens across the US and worldwide (inc. music legend Roger Waters, shown here) who have supported the Countdown to Close Guantanamo this year, and a new song, ‘Close Guantanamo,’ by my band The Four Fathers.
Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htQpwKQAY-M
Song here: https://thefourfathers.bandcamp.com/track/close-guantanamo
Roy Randall wrote:
Okay, let’s say that Obama does close GITMO. The problem with executive orders is they are only good till the next President takes over. Obama is famous for saying, example would be some of the nastier rights abuses in the Patriot Act and NDAA, that his Administration would be very careful with his responsibilities in those rights stealing acts. The only problem, once again has to be noted, he is only in office for two terms. And now the Executive Branch will be turned over to the Donald. I bet he didn’t see that coming back then.
Thanks for your thoughts, Roy. Point taken about executive orders in general, but I don’t actually think that closing Guantanamo by executive order is feasible, because I don’t think Obama would be able to get people to obey his orders if he moved the remaining prisoners to the US mainland. As an alternative, he should be able to move them to a military brig as commander in chief, but I think we all know there are some in the military who want to keep Guantanamo open and wouldn’t want to assist that sort of an effort.
Sadly, whatever her other failures, Hillary was up for closing Guantanamo, but that’s obviously unlikely to be happening in a hurry now.
Ann Alexander wrote:
Great video, great song.
Thanks, Ann. Don’t forget to check out the whole song here: https://thefourfathers.bandcamp.com/track/close-guantanamo
Beth Cioffoletti wrote:
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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