Retired Admirals Urge Biden to Release Everyone at Guantánamo Not Charged With a Crime — 28 of the 40 Men Still Held

Retired Rear Admirals Donald J. Guter and John Hutson, who recently wrote an op-ed for the Nation calling on President Biden to release all the men at Guantánamo who have not been charged with a crime — 28 men out of the 40 still held.

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I wrote the following article 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.

Since Joe Biden became president five months ago, there have been numerous high-profile calls for him to fulfill a promise that President Obama failed to fulfill (when Biden was vice president) and that Donald Trump had no interest in whatsoever; namely, closing the “war on terror” prison at Guantánamo Bay.

A week after President Biden’s inauguration, 111 organizations, including Close Guantánamo, sent a letter to the new president urging him to close the prison, around the same time that seven former prisoners — all authors —  wrote an open letter to Biden, urging the prison’s closure, which was published in the New York Review of Books. Other calls for the prison have come from Bill Clinton advisor Anthony Lake and our co-founder, the attorney Tom Wilner, from Lee Wolosky, former Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure under Barack Obama, and from former CIA analyst Gail Helt.

The most seismic shift, politically, came in April when 24 Senators wrote a letter to the president, not only urging him to close the prison, but also providing details of how that can be achieved — through the appointment of a senior White House official to oversee the closure process, and also though the re-establishment of the Office of the Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure at the State Department, established by Obama but shut down under Trump, which was responsible for “identifying transfer countries and negotiating transfer agreements.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Former US Navy Judge Advocates General Call for the Closure of Guantánamo

I wrote the following article for the “Close Guantánamo” website, which I established in January 2012 with 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.

The hunger strike at Guantánamo shows no sign of ending, and as a result we at “Close Guantánamo” fear, every day, that we will hear news of some unfortunate soul’s death at the prison. Every day we also wait, in vain, for President Obama to take leadership on the issue, and to pledge to release some of the 86 men (out of 166 in total), who were cleared for release at least three years ago by an inter-agency task force that the President established when he took office in 2009 — when, of course, he also promised to close Guantánamo within a year, but failed to do so.

We have been covering the hunger strike since it first surfaced, and we continue to monitor it, and to urge people to put pressure on President Obama and Chuck Hagel, the defense secretary, to bring it to an end the only way that is acceptable — not with lockdowns and the use of solitary confinement, but with political courage, and a sense of what is right and what is wrong.

Holding men who have been cleared for release by sober and sensible officials from the key government departments and the intelligence agencies is completely unacceptable, under any circumstances, and it demeans America for this situation to be ongoing, day after day, with the world’s media finally paying attention once more, after years of indifference. Read the rest of this entry »

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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