Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: To demand that the Obama administration take a more direct route to closing the Guantanamo Bay prison.
By signing the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), President Barack Obama is going against his pledge to close the Guantanamo prison. Many of his close advisers have publicly said that they would have recommended a veto of the bill if it contained any sort of detainee transfer restrictions. While the administration blames Congress for including these restrictions, for the second year President Obama has signed legislation into law that keeps the Guantanamo Bay prison funded. It is time for President Obama to take responsibility for his failure to close this infamous prison and show that he is serious about taking charge in shutting its doors.
The NDAA authorizes funding for many Defense Department operations but it is not essential for the armed forces to function in the field now. The NDAA simply allocates appropriated funds for the Defense Department. Even if President Obama had vetoed the legislation, the agreement from the previous year would still be in effect, allowing the military to continue its current operations. Obama is second out of the last six presidents to have not vetoed a defense authorization act. His posturing to blame the continued existence of Guantanamo on the Congress is misleading.
President Obama must take responsibility for not closing the US operated, Cuba based prison. The law extends restrictions on detainee transfers for another year. The restrictions are not based on detainee conduct or crime but rather on the acts of terror currently or formerly committed by citizens of their home country. This means that even if a prisoner is cleared for release, they might not be allowed to leave and return to their home. Sign this petition and demand that the Obama administration take more direct action to close Guantanamo and end the policy of detaining innocent men based on the actions of others.
Dear President Barack Obama,
By signing the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, you have acted against your pledge to close the United States military’s detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Many of your advisors have said that they advised you to veto the legislation if it contained any detainee transfer restrictions. I wish that you had heeded their advice. While your administration continues to blame Congress for the inability to close Guantanamo Bay, it is becoming increasingly clear that you have little intention of closing the prison regardless of how many men have been cleared for release.
You, President Obama, must take direct responsibility for the failure to close Guantanamo. Not signing the NDAA would not have shut down the military or put the United States in danger, rather, by signing the bill, the reputation of our country has been put at further risk. Your administration must take direct action to close Guantanamo and end the policy of detaining prisoners based on the actions of those back in their home countries.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sutton Hoo via Detritus