Retired Military Brass Urge Obama to Uphold Guantanamo Promise
Washington, D.C. — 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. “Despite setbacks, there remains a clear path to closing Guantanamo during the second term of your presidency,” said the retired military leaders in a letter sent to President Obama today. “Detainees who have been unanimously cleared for transfer by the interagency taskforce, which included all the relevant security and intelligence agencies, should be transferred.” The retired military leaders stressed that the President must no longer tolerate congressional restrictions on his ability to transfer detainees. “We urge you to work with Congress to remove legislative restrictions on the transfer of detainees, and you should exercise your veto power on any legislation that carries them forward,” added the retired generals and admirals. Many within the group of retired generals and admirals signing today’s letter stood behind the President in 2009 as he signed an executive order to close Guantanamo. That executive order, issued on the second day of President Obama’s first term, adopted many of the recommendations put forth by Human Rights First in its 2008 Blueprint on How to Close Guantanamo. Today at its Human Rights Summit in Washington, DC, Human Rights First has put forth an updated Blueprint on how to close Guantanamo in President Obama’s second-term.