Retired Military Leaders Praise Obama's Thomson Decision
(Washington DC December 15, 2009) Members of the group of retired military leaders who stood with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office as he signed the Executive Orders to ban the use of torture and close the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay are praising today's announcement that the Administration plans to relocate Guantanamo detainees to the Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois and say the Administration will "complete the mission" by ending the practice of detention without trial or charge.
General David M. Maddox, USA (Ret.) Lieutenant General Harry E. Soyster, USA (Ret.) and Rear Admiral John Hutson, JAGC, USN (Ret.), today released the following statement:
"This decision puts the United States one step closer to restoring its moral authority and will ultimately strengthen our nation's security. It is vital to the safety of our men and women in uniform that our country makes a clean break from the failed policies that governed the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. When Guantanamo is finally shuttered, terrorists will be denied a powerful recruiting tool.
"Nearly a year ago, we stood with President Obama in the Oval Office and congratulated him for acting quickly to enforce a single standard of humane treatment for all U.S. intelligence interrogations. We must never again sanction the use of interrogation methods that we would find unacceptable if inflicted by an enemy against captured Americans. As Commander in Chief, he has upheld that standard and provided clarity throughout the military chain of command.
"Today, we commend him again for taking this important step toward fulfilling his promise to close the Guantanamo prison, a facility that has long stood as a reminder of the false choice between national security and our ideals. The new facility in Thomson is an excellent choice and Americans can take comfort in knowing that their safety is not threatened in any way. To complete this mission, the Obama Administration must drive the number of detainees held without charge or trial down to zero, as we have urged in our meetings with senior Administration officials. Our Nation will be stronger and safer for it."