Friday, January 11, 2008

do not adjust your set

This post is indeed in orange in recognition of the sixth anniversary of the day men and boys were first shipped off to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Since then, over 700 prisoners have been detained, abused, and deprived of some of our most deeply held and basic rights. In six years, not a single “terrorist” held at Guantanamo has been convicted, in fact, not a single trial—if you can call the star chamber process established by the Bush administration a “trial”—not a single trial has been completed. Hundreds are still being held—with no recourse, no habeas rights, and no way to disprove any of the charges against them. In fact, many are not even told what those charges are. In the words of the ACLU’s Caroline Fredrickson, “After six years of holding these individuals without charge, Guantanamo Bay can be viewed as nothing short of an American dungeon.”

Legislation has been introduced in Congress that would close the detention facility and restore due process rights to those being held at Guantanamo. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced S. 1469, the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility Closure Act of 2007. The bill requires the president to close the facility within 120 days of enactment - during which time detainees would be charged and sent to either the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth, KS, or transferred to another country that will not torture or abuse them.

"Senator Harkin worked diligently to craft legislation that properly shuts down Guantanamo Bay and ends the indefinite detention of those being held. This is a major step in restoring the American image as a beacon of freedom in the world," said Christopher Anders, legislative counsel for the ACLU. "Senators Clinton, McCain and Obama have all spoken forcefully about shutting down the detention facility during their presidential campaigns but none have yet signed on to Senator Harkin’s legislation. Talk on the campaign trail comes easy, but signing on to the legislation would be a real commitment to shutting Guantanamo Bay."

Please use this unfortunate anniversary as an opportunity to call your senators and ask them to support Senator Harkin’s bill, S.1469. The Capitol Switchboard number is (202) 224-3121, or you can find more information about contacting your senators at

Thank you.

(Please check out something completely different—still orange, but completely different—on capitoilette.)

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