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Guantanamo: Six Years of Disgrace

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January 11, 2008

“Not tomorrow, but this afternoon. I’d close it,” said former Secretary of State Colin Powell about Guantanamo.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero quoted Powell in an op-ed in Salon today, the sixth anniversary of the arrival of the first prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. Anthony writes:

Make no mistake: There were, and are, innocent people imprisoned at Guantanamo. Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, who was Guantanamo’s commander for several years, candidly acknowledged in the Wall Street Journal: “Sometimes, we just didn’t get the right folks.” And we now know that only a small percentage of the many hundreds of men and boys who have been held at Guantanamo were captured on a battlefield fighting against Americans; far more were sold into captivity by tribal warlords for substantial bounties.

The ACLU has been challenging the indefinite detention of prisoners at Gitmo for years now. Our attorneys attend the military commission hearings as human rights observers and blog on the proceedings so the public can know what’s really going on at Guantanamo. (The most recent is Staff Attorney Hina Shamsi’s article on the proceedings of Salim Ahmed Hamdan.) We’ve filed a lawsuit against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, charging that he bears direct responsibility for the torture and abuse of detainees.

And today we’re leading a Day of Action to Close Guantanamo. You can still participate by wearing orange, signing the pledge, and attending one of the many events around the country calling for an end to this national disgrace.

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