Closing Guantánamo, 2015 edition

posted by Mike on January 11th, 2015

“Vatican pushes US secretary of state on closing Guantánamo”:

As the Obama administration continues to look for ways to shut down the controversial Guantánamo Bay detention center in Cuba, Vatican officials pressed US Secretary of State John Kerry Monday to find “humanitarian solutions” for suspected terrorists.


[Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantú, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace] said that an expedited transfer of detainees out of Guantánamo and the eventual closing of the facility would represent a major step in “allowing the United States to regain its moral standing as a defender of human rights.”

(alternately: US asks for Vatican’s support to shut Guantánamo down)

This week I’ve been in Washington, DC with Witness Against Torture, working on the Close Guantánamo campaign. Closing Guantánamo remains a thorny issue. I’m glad to be here. Some of what we do rubs me the wrong way, but most has been inspiring.

Cliff Sloan: The Path to Closing Guantánamo:

While there have been zigs and zags, we have made great progress. The path to closing Guantánamo during the Obama administration is clear, but it will take intense and sustained action to finish the job. The government must continue and accelerate the transfers of those approved for release. Administrative review of those not approved for transfer must be expedited. The absolute and irrational ban on transfers to the United States for any purpose, including detention and prosecution, must be changed as the population is reduced to a small core of detainees who cannot safely be transferred overseas.


Cliff Sloan, a lawyer, was the State Department’s special envoy for closing Guantánamo until Dec. 31.


Today is the thirteenth anniversary of the opening of the opening of the Guantánamo prison. There was a demonstration at the White House, with several dozen people in black hoods and orange jumpsuits representing the 59 men at Guantánamo cleared for release by the Bush and Obama administrations but not yet freed. The demonstrators then marched to the Department of Justice, and on to DC Superior Court, as a sign of opposition to the injustices both at Guantánamo and at our domestic prisons.



McCain prepared to help Obama close Guantanamo:

McCain, himself a former prisoner of war, has long favored closing Guantanamo Bay, which critics say stains the reputation of the United States and is a recruiting tool for terrorists. But key players in Congress, including many senior Republicans, have barred funding for the administration to send remaining inmates elsewhere or to build facilities on the U.S. mainland.

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