The Counter Terror With Justice campaign and Amnesty International volunteers were on the National Mall yesterday, gathering 100 Days petition signatures before the inauguration and wearing orange and holding signs on the parade route.
I took this picture of JD with my phone, sorry it’s kinda pixely. It was great meeting so many people from around the country who want GTMO closed, torture ended and accountability for abuse. (Reminded me of the GTMO Cell Tour.)
We’ve been hearing for a few days now that President Obama would act quickly to address some of these points, but I didn’t think about how I’d feel when the time came. Now I’m getting a sense. My Aunt just forwarded me this, from ABC News: “Torture, Gitmo, and the Treatment of Detainees: President Obama’s Three Executive Orders for Thursday.” If this article is correct, these orders would, quote:
- close the detainee camp at Guantanamo Bay within a year and establish a process by which the U.S. government figures out what to do with the remaining detainees;
- establish new rules on interrogation methods moving forward;
- establish new guidelines for the treatment of detainees moving forward.
I have mixed emotions. I’d be thrilled to see such profoundly positive movement on these issues from President Obama, especially so quickly, but I’m already steeling myself for what will be probably be harder than getting to this point:
- getting the details of the above right;
- making sure illegal practices stop not just at GTMO, but also at Bagram, CIA sites and other US facilities in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere;
- ending rendition
- ensuring accountability for torture and other illegal US interrogation and detention practices and policies—whether under Bush, Clinton, or anyone else.
Right now, the best thing we can all do is let President Obama know that we support and care about efforts to bring US interrogation and detention practices and policies in line with international law.
To that end, please take a moment to:
- sign our online petition to President Obama
- write President Obama a good old fashioned letter. We have a template, feel free to personalize it
- write a letter to the editor of your local paper, using our guide
- post comments to online news articles and blogs
- celebrate. We’ve all put a lot of hard work into this campaign—please give yourself a pat on the back. Have some orange juice. You’ll need a recharge for the fight ahead. Get that orange gear washed, ironed up and ready to go.