On June 2-4, 2010, Human Rights First gathered thirteen retired generals and admirals in Philadelphia to speak with congressional candidates from both parties about the importance to our nation’s security of closing Guantanamo, trying terrorism suspects in federal court, and treating enemy prisoners humanely. These meetings followed the model HRF established in 2008, when we organized meetings between the retired military leaders and Presidential candidates on the campaign trail in
The retired generals and admirals made the case to eleven Republican, Democratic and Independent candidates from Pennsylvania and Delaware that terrorists should be treated like thugs instead of being granted the warrior status they desire by trying them in military commissions or concocting other special, extra-legal ways to treat them. The group’s co-chairs, General Joseph Hoar and General Charles Krulak, also took this message to the public with an opinion piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and a radio spot that reached more than 800,000 listeners in
National political commentators have looked to
Coming out of the meetings, the retired generals and admirals are energized and committed to continue educating those who will set policy in Congress and informing the public about the importance of enlisting our laws, values and institutions in the fight against terrorism. As a staff member at HRF who works with the retired military leaders, and helps organize these meetings, I never cease to be impressed by their continued efforts to serve this country by preserving its values.