The closure of Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp can’t wait. The abomination of US torture must not only end; the rationale of “exceptionalism” — that American lives are worth more than others — must be repudiated. In no case should the practice of preemptive imprisonment be condoned, or worse, exported to another jurisdiction.
Debate over where to locate the criminal enterprises of our government misses the point. The enduring torture of wrongful imprisonment would be just as unacceptable on the US mainland as it is at the offshore military base in Cuba. Extrajudicial punishment is a gross violation of human rights by politically repressive regimes — and defies centuries old practice of habeas corpus. The experiment in terror employed at Guantanamo represents a cancer that must be cut out.
“Worldwide, the experiment is becoming the norm. It has been estimated that at least 15,000 people are being held without trial under the justification of the ‘war on terrorism’. They include more than 3,000 detained in Iraq after the war, of whom at least 1,000 are still in detention; an estimated further 1,000 to 3,000 detained at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan; and an unknown number being held on the British territory of Diego Garcia.”
Relocating Guantanamo won’t erase the history of suffering endured at the prison camp, or silence the voices of tortured survivors. The clock is ticking, and deliberations over what’s “good for the US” delays “If a prosecutor can’t put together a case against someone who has been sitting in prison for as long as 13 years, there is no reason that person should continue to sit in prison, whether in Guantánamo or someplace else.”
Restore Habeas Corpus. Charge or release the survivors of America’s “black sites.” We demand speedy trials for the accused and reparation to the wronged.
Neither Congress or the President can make a war crime moral. Wear a orange ribbon and join the call to shut down Guantanamo and end the illegal practices of indefinite detention, torture, and extraordinary rendition.