Human Rights First went on the campaign trail last week in Illinois, meeting candidates to talk Guantánamo—why and how it needs to be closed. Below is a report back on some of our activities.
With 5 retired generals and in 4 days, we met with 12 congressional candidates from across the political spectrum to discuss how we can change our nation’s misguided counterterrorism policies. The meetings went well—one of the candidates reported back on her blog discussing some of the finer points.
- an exclusive interview with Gen. Nash on Worldview,
- an appearance a local radio talk show by Gen. Cullen,
- meetings and mentions in Illinois press, and
- online ad campaign on the Chicago Tribune and Facebook targeting potential activists, journalists, military personnel, and congressional staff.
The generals brought the facts about military commissions: they don’t work. In the 8 years since Guantanamo was opened, 4 suspected terrorists have been successfully prosecuted by the sham military court system (vs. 400 in federal courts). Meanwhile, our nation’s laws, values, and reputation have all been deeply undermined and tarnished.
We are going to keep the momentum by taking our message to Washington D.C. next month. Help us spread the word!