Here, There and Everywhere

The President’s Promise

Dear Gabriel,

A Guantanamo that’s open forever? It really could happen.

Congress is debating legislation right now — the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) — that would keep the shameful detention facility at Guantanamo Bay open indefinitely.

If the bill passes the Senate, only a veto from President Obama can stop the provisions on indefinite detention and military tribunals at Guantanamo from taking effect.

But the buck stops with you — will you let President Obama know that you remember his promise to close Guantanamo, and that you expect him to block these unjust provisions from ever becoming law?

This is not a lost cause. Voices like yours have already attracted attention on Capitol Hill — your calls and emails helped push Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) to speak out against the indefinite detention provisions in the NDAA bill.

Having Senator Reid on our side is a huge win for us. If we had remained silent, this bill might have ended up clearing the Senate with little opposition — the scary indefinite detention provisions originally had bipartisan support!

But with election season upon us, politics are far from predictable. Senator Reid’s support may not be enough to stop these provisions. We need to take a principled stand against indefinite detention and military trials — and we need the White House to be a part of it.

Politics should never get in the way of human rights. It’s long past time for President Obama to fulfill his promise to close Guantanamo. Vetoing this bill is a start. The president needs to know that’s exactly what you expect him to do.

Sincerely,

Zeke Johnson
Director, Security with Human Rights Campaign
Amnesty International USA

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