In his 60 Minutes interview on Sunday, President-elect Barack Obama reaffirmed his intention to Close Guantánamo. He told Steve Kroft:
Yes. I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantánamo, and I will follow through on that. I have said repeatedly that America doesn’t torture. And I’m gonna make sure that we don’t torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America’s moral stature in the world.
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Music to our ears! What a difference an election makes!
Just yesterday, the ACLU’s Chris Anders travelled to Guantánamo to observe the military commission hearings of Ibrahim al-Qosi and Mohammad Hashim, and reported that interest in the proceedings down there have taken a nosedive. He writes:
[E]veryone notices that attendance is way down. A couple of military personnel shut off the power in empty tents here in “Camp Justice.” As the only representative of a human rights group this week, my bed is the only one occupied in my six-bed tent. And the media pool is now down to just one reporter. It seems that all that is left to be done is for the new president to pull the plug on the whole operation on January 20.
But we’re not tossing out the orange ribbons just yet. Our work is not done. We need to keep up the momentum on this issue, and show President-elect Obama that he has our support to shut Guantánamo down on Day One. With an executive order, he can close Gitmo and shutter the military commissions system.
A lot of people are advising him to go slow, telling him it’s too hard. He says he wants to do it. And he’s reaffirmed this on national TV. Reaffirm your committment to support his efforts to close Guantánamo by signing this pledge. Show President-Elect Obama that you care about justice as much as he does.