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Retired Military Leaders' Commentary

The goal of terrorism is to change behavior and to make us live in fear. On 9/11 America changed.

In September 2001 I was a new brigadier general at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina commanding an 8,000 man force of Marines and Sailors. America made the decision to go to war in Afghanistan, and some of my troops were deployed early into the fight. And as we began to take captives, the question of what to do with them became more imperative. Many in the Administration believed that these individuals represented an intelligence treasure trove.

Dear Chairmen and Ranking Members, 

For over seven years we, a group of retired flag and general officers of the United States Armed Forces, have advocated the responsible closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. We have done this because it is what is best for our country. It is in our national security interests, and above all, it is about reestablishing who we are as a country.

May 13, 2015

Dear Representative,

I am a member of a coalition of more than 60 retired general and admirals of the United States Armed Forces who have consistently worked to find a way to responsibly close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.  I was the first commander of the detention facility at Guantanamo.  Keeping the prison open undermines American laws and values, and it harms our national security.  This is not a partisan issue.  It is an American issue.  I and my colleagues are as we were on active duty -- nonpartisan. 

February 5, 2015

Representative Vicky Hartzler
United States House of Representatives
2235 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Representative Jackie Speier
United States House of Representatives
2465 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congresswomen Hartzler and Speier,

February 10, 2015

Dear Senator,

I am a member of a coalition of more than 50 retired general and admirals of the United States Armed Forces who have consistently worked to find a way to responsibly close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.  We are as we were on active duty -- nonpartisan.  I was the first commander of the detention facility at Guantanamo.  This week the Senate Armed Services Committee will mark up the Detaining Terrorists to Protect America Act of 2015.

This is a cross-post from Politico 

By Retired Major General Michael Lehnert, USMC, the first commander of the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Washington, D.C. - As the House of Representatives and Senate prepare to consider amendments to appropriations measures that would add more stringent restrictions or ban entirely the transfer of detainees from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, General Joseph P. Hoar, USMC (ret.) and General Charles C. Krulak, USMC (ret.) strongly reaffirmed their support for closing the detention facility, and their opposition to additional restrictions on transfers:

May 19, 2014

 

Dear Senator:

As retired Flag and General Officers, we believe it is imperative for Congress to remove the remaining restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo detainees out of Guantanamo this year.  Keeping the prison at Guantanamo open undermines American laws and values, and harms—not enhances—our national security.

May 19, 2014

 

Dear Representative:

As retired Flag and General Officers, we believe it is imperative for Congress to remove the remaining restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo detainees out of Guantanamo this year.  Keeping the prison at Guantanamo open undermines American laws and values, and harms—not enhances—our national security.

By Jess Ballance

“The United States should stand for something; stand for the rule of law, stand for the appreciation and respect for human rights. As long as we have Guantanamo, it’s very difficult to say that we stand for those things.”

-Major General Michael Lehnert (ret.)

Washington, D.C. – Thirty-one of the nation’s most respected retired generals and admirals today sent a letter to President Obama urging him to make good on his executive order to close the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

Washington, D.C. – As the Senate takes up the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week, 38 of the nation’s most respected retired generals and admirals are urging members of the Senate to take steps to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility responsibly.

Washington, DC – On the eve of a Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights hearing about the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 26 of the nation’s most respected retired military leaders are urging members of the committee to support steps to shutter the facility.

Washington, DC -- Twenty-seven of the nations most respected retired generals and admirals have called on President Obama to redouble efforts to close the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo in his second-term. The call comes as the President considers how to deal with the defense authorization bill, legislation that may impose transfer restrictions that seriously compromise the President's plan to close Guantanamo.
Washington, DC – Twenty-five of the nation’s most respected retired generals and admirals, most of whom stood with the President in the Oval Office as he signed an Executive Order to shutter the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, today urged the President to fulfill that 2009 pledge and close the “notorious detention center once and for all.” Their call comes in a letter sent to the President just two days before the facility’s 10th anniversary.
Retired Brigadier General David Irvine came out strongly against the campaign rhetoric of two Senate candidates in Utah, in an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune today. He places this rhetoric within the broader Republican attack against President Obama's pledge to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, which he says is dangerous and steers us away from the fact that this isn't a partisan issue but a question of national security:

Guantanamo is a continuing threat to the nation's security. Every day the

(Washington, DC November 18, 2009) Dozens of distinguished retired military leaders today urged Congress to stay the course toward closure of the U.S. detention facility at Guant

Washington, DC Fed up with the spread of misinformation and disinformation by those opposed to closing the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo, four of the nation's most distinguished retired military leaders are coming to Capitol Hill to "set the record straight" during an event on Tuesday, September 29.