ACLU Statement on President's Guantánamo Comments

April 30, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – At a press briefing today, President Obama restated his belief that the prison at Guantánamo should be closed. Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, responded to the president's comments by detailing immediate actions the president could take.

"We welcome the president's continuing commitment to closing Guantánamo and putting an end to the indefinite detention regime there," Romero said. "There are two things the president should do. One is to appoint a senior point person so that the administration's Guantánamo closure policy is directed by the White House and not by Pentagon bureaucrats. The president can also order the secretary of defense to start certifying for transfer detainees who have been cleared, which is more than half the Guantánamo population."

"There's more to be done, but these are the two essential first steps the president can take now to break the Guantánamo logjam," Romero said. "We couldn't agree more with President Obama's statement that the 'idea that we would still maintain forever a group of individuals who have not been tried – that is contrary to who we are, it is contrary to our interests, and it needs to stop.'"

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