Retired Generals and Admirals Urge Obama to Release Plan to Close Guantanamo
Washington, D.C.—Twenty-eight of the nation’s most respected retired generals and admirals today urged President Obama to submit a plan to Congress detailing actions the administration will take to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. The call came in a letter to the President Obama, which comes as he faces legislation that would severely hamper his ability to close Guantanamo by the end of his term in office.
“The way forward depends principally on strong, persistent leadership from you [President Obama] and your administration,” wrote the generals and admirals. “You have no doubt faced real opposition, but the effort your administration has dedicated to overcome it has been inadequate to the task.”
Signatories on today’s letter are members of a larger group of retired military leaders who have long advocated for closing Guantanamo. Many of them stood behind President Obama on his second day in office in 2009 as he signed the executive order to close Guantanamo within one year.
There are 112 detainees at the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay. Fifty-two of the remaining detainees are cleared for transfer, and another 47 are eligible for Periodic Review Board (PRB) hearings. Human Rights First notes that PRB reviews should have been completed for every eligible detainee over three years ago. Detainees who are not cleared for transfer, or who will face prosecution, will likely need to be transferred to the United States in order to close Guantanamo.
“We stand ready to support your efforts,” concluded the generals and admirals. “Closing Guantanamo will make Americans more secure and remind the world that we are prepared to live by the rule of law and values we cherish.”