Two advances on Guantánamo this week:
- Despite intensive fear mongering on Capitol Hill, the Senate passed a homeland security appropriations conference report this week that, although it places some restrictions on transfers, allows for transfers for trial in U.S. civilian courts. The President is expected to sign the bill soon.
- The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the case of the Chinese Uighur detainees who cannot be repatriated to China because of the risk of torture or other abuse, and who the Defense Department concedes do not pose a threat to the United States.
Although these are important steps forward, the battle is far from won – there are still restrictions in the bill, and some lawmakers continue to put up roadblocks to trying terrorists in the U.S. civilian justice system. For example, last week, Senator Lindsey Graham introduced an amendment on a bill that would prohibit funding trials of alleged 9/11 conspirators in U.S. courts.
Senator Graham’s amendment is at odds with the recommendations of senior retired military leaders who advise that the use of civilian courts to try the 9/11 alleged conspirators is in the best interest of U.S. national security. Click here to read a letter to President Obama from four retired military leaders, admirals and generals, urging him to seek prosecutions in civilian courts.
Write your representatives to let them know that you support closing Guantánamo – they need to know that public support is behind it!