Sign and Donate to Publish Close Guantanamo NOW Ad in The New York Times Next Week

 

Close Guantanamo NOW Ad to Appear in The New York Times Next Week
 
Right now, we need the collective voices of artists, intellectuals, politicians, religious and cultural figures who are respected and beloved for being voices of conscience, speaking as one to demand that the torture of Guantanamo be ended.  It's time and past time, as we reach 100 days of the prisoners' hunger strike, that we provide a way for them to speak out together, and for that message to be seen.
 
 
Read the content of the ad, add your name, donate, and find out more about spreading the word about it. If this statement is truly going to have the society-wide impact it needs to have it has to be seen by many thousands now, getting involved by donating, signing, and sharing with many more, right now. 
 
Signers include:
 
M. Cherif Bassiouni, Emeritus Professor of Law, DePaul University School of Law 
William Blum, author, Killing Hope 
Elaine Brower, World Can't Wait
Barney Bush, Vinyard Indian Settlement
Shahid Buttar, Bill of Rights Defense Committee*
Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party
Andy Griggs, Interreligious Communities United for Justice & Peace*
Mike Ferner, Veterans for Peace
Tina Foster, International Justice Network, Bagram Lawyer
Candace Gorman, Civil rights Lawyer
Maryam Hassan, Save Shaker Aamer
Tarak Kauff, Veterans for Peace
Joyce and Max Kozloff
Dennis Loo, World Can't Wait
Cynthia McKinney, 2008 Power to the People Campaign
Rev. Stephen Phelps, The Riverside Church*
Cindy Sheehan, Tour de Peace
Debra Sweet, World Can't Wait
Sunsara Taylor
Dennis Trainor Jr.
Andy Worthington, andyworthington.co.uk

Stop the Torture! Close Guantanamo! End the War Crimes and Violations of Fundamental Rights!
 
166 men remain imprisoned at Guantanamo. Most are 100 days into a hunger strike.  Some are near death, many imprisoned for more than ten years. They have lost hope of being released, although a majority were cleared to leave years ago. As Adnan Latif, a detainee, wrote during an earlier hunger strike, "Where is the world to save us from torture? Where is the world to save the hunger strikers?" Mr. Latif was cleared for release as well, but he died in September 2012, still waiting for justice.
 
President Obama has said nothing about Guantanamo for years.  Facing a growing outcry, he says that he wants to close it, but that Congress is blocking closure. Even under Congress’ existing criteria, however, Obama could have released most of the detainees years ago. He closed the office responsible for processing prisoners’ releases; recently prevented lawyers from meeting with their clients by banning flights to the prison; barred emergency calls by attorneys to the detainees; ordered forced feeding through excruciating means and by strapping prisoners down (a violation of medical ethics and torture in itself); and authorized an April 13 assault in which guards fired rubber bullets on hunger strikers. Obama does not need Congressional approval: as Commander in Chief, he has the power to shut the prison down now.
 
The continuing torture at Guantanamo is part of larger, alarming developments. When he ran for office, Obama promised to restore the rule of law. Instead he has claimed and exercised unchecked executive powers beyond what George Bush used. He refuses to prosecute officials for their use of torture, yet aggressively prosecutes any whistle-blowers who expose war crimes, most flagrantly in the torture, slander and draconian legal charges against Bradley Manning. By signing the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, Obama made indefinite detention, based on merely an accusation, the law of the land. These actions amount to institutionalizing and, in important respects, escalating, the “Bush Doctrine.”
 
In the name of “democracy,” our government has tortured at least one hundred people to death. In the name of the “war on terror,” thousands have been detained without a chance to face their accusers or even know what charges they are held under. In opposition to international law, Obama has advanced a policy of targeted killing across sovereign borders, deciding who will die by Hellfire missiles shot from drones - without charges, trials, or any evidence other than what only Obama and his close advisers deem sufficient. At least 176 children have been killed by drones in Pakistan alone and between 3-4,000non-combatants have died in drone attacks. John Bellinger, who drafted Bush’s justifications for targeted killings, concludes that the Obama administration has decided to kill people with drones so that they don’t have to imprison them.
 
Fundamental civil liberties have been eviscerated. In the name of safety, fear, or revenge, American presidents cannot be allowed to arrogate to themselves the power of judge, jury and executioner. Actions that utilize de facto torture, that run roughshod over the rule of law and due process, and that rain down terror and murder on peoples and nations, without any declaration of war, amount to war crimes. Such actions cannot in any way be morally justified in the name of “protecting Americans.” American lives are not more precious than any other nation’s people’s lives.
 
It is up to people to stand up for principle and morality when their institutions and public officials refuse to do so. The fates of those who are maimed or killed by our government’s policies are inextricably intertwined with our own: we must listen and respond to their cry for justice. We must demand their release now, before they lose their lives as well.

SOURCE: World Can't Wait