“One Year and Counting”, webcast available online today at noon, highlights recommendations in Beyond Guantánamo: A Bipartisan Declaration
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 22, 2010
CONTACT: Matthew Allee, (202) 580-6922 or firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON – In news accounts this morning, it was reported that, on the anniversary marking President Obama’s pledge to close the Guantánamo Bay detention facility within one year, the administration will pursue a policy of indefinite detention without charge for approximately 50 detainees still held at Guantánamo. The administration had previously acknowledged that it will miss the deadline to close the facility, while continuing its pledge to see the detention facility closed.
“Even if the Obama administration continues to work to close Guantánamo, by pursuing a policy of indefinite detention without charge, the damaging policies that embody the prison will continue, as will the negative effects to American values, the rule of law, and our nation’s reputation abroad,” said Virginia Sloan, president of the Constitution Project. “The constitutional way to fulfill the president’s commitment to closing Guantánamo is to prosecute suspected terrorists in federal court, and to oppose the use of military commissions and indefinite detention without charge. There is widespread bipartisan support for closing Guantánamo in a way that returns our nation to its constitutional principles, as embodied in Beyond Guantánamo: A Bipartisan Declaration.”
To take note of the missed deadline, the Constitution Project joined with the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Open Society Institute to cosponsor a panel discussion examining what prevented the administration from reaching its goal and what obstacles remain to closing the detention facility. Titled “One Year and Counting: When and How Will Guantánamo Close?,” the program featured an array of voices, including current and former government and military officials, a sitting federal judge, a former federal prosecutor in New York City, advocates, and litigators. A webcast of today’s event will be available online at noon; link is below.
Two participants are signatories to Beyond Guantánamo: A Bipartisan Declaration, which calls on the Obama administration and Congress to support a policy for closing Guantánamo that is consistent with our constitutional principles and also ensures our country’s security. An effort coordinated by the Constitution Project and Human Rights First and joined by nearly 140 prominent Americans, including former members of Congress, diplomats, federal judges and prosecutors, high-level military and government officials, as well as national security and foreign policy experts, bar leaders, and family members of 9/11 victims, the Declaration supports prosecution of terrorism suspects in traditional federal court, rather than by military commission, and opposes indefinite detention without charge.
To view the live webcast of today’s panel discussion, go to: http://fora.tv/live/osi/when_will_guantanamo_close
Click here to view a copy of Beyond Guantánamo: A Bipartisan Declaration.