Late last night, President Obama signed the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law with provisions that restrict the transfer of Guantanamo detainees and further impede closure of the prison. Furthermore, nothing was done to correct provisions in last year’s NDAA that further entrench indefinite military detention, unfair trials, and the U.S. government’s “global war” framework, in U.S. law.
The “global war” framework— which holds that the U.S. government is engaged in a global, pervasive, never-ending “war” with al-Qaeda and other vaguely defined groups and individuals—was first articulated by the Bush administration and has been embraced by the Obama administration.
Expressed in the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force and reaffirmed in the 2012 NDAA, this “global war” doctrine is used to justify everything from killings with drones to detention without charge at Guantanamo to renditions (still happening, according to a Washington Post report) to impunity for crimes under international law, including torture and enforced disappearances.
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Our 10,000 Against Torture campaign is now over. You’ve helped us achieve extraordinary results, with 90,000 actions to stop illegal detention and ensure accountability for torture – including mailing 283 letters to the editor, holding 145 local events, and sending tens of thousands of letters and emails to President Obama and Congress, not to mention the volume of calls to the White House and Senator Graham’s office. Thank you for this!
But there are still some major obstacles standing in our way:
• Senator Graham’s legislation may have been capped for now, but he’s still got his sights on gutting fair, federal trials and legislating indefinite detention. President Obama seems ready to play a game of ‘let’s make a deal’.
• The Obama administration has yet to announce a new date for closing Guantanamo after it missed its self-imposed deadline.
• The President and Congress continue to shirk responsibility on ensuring accountability for U.S. torture, as required by law: with a full investigation, prosecution where warranted and remedy for victims.
Musician Tom Morello also wants to thank you for standing against torture. Musician and anti-torture activist Tom Morello would like to share a limited download of his cover song “Human” with those of you who helped us stand (more than) 10,000 strong against torture.
Visit www.store.limewire.com and sign up for a free account.
Go to Redeem Gifts and enter the code: L627EMH2743375559
Please stay tuned for more information on how to take more action and pressure the administration to holder torturers accountable and close Guantánamo in a way that respects human rights.
Another January 11th Guantanamo anniversary has come and gone, and still 198 men are detained at the facility (and hundreds more at Bagram). Over the last year there has been some progress, but not with the kind of momentum that we had hoped for last January. Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the Executive Order that President Obama drafted to have the Guantanamo Detention Facility closed within a year, but unfortunately, the detention facility is still open. The military commissions process continues. And some in the Obama Administration seem to be flirting with the idea of indefinite detention (just in a US-based facility vs. Gitmo). The failed Bush-era policies on torture and indefinite and illegal detention sadly continue to linger on. And thus the need for our important human rights work continues!
Last week on January 11th, we launched 10,000 Against Torture, a project to demonstrate to the White House and Congress, that Americans want both security AND respect for the rule of law. Over the next weeks, we’ll be doing weekly actions calling for the closure of Gitmo (in a way that respects human rights!) and accountability for these failed policies on torture and indefinite detention.
To mark the missed deadline tomorrow, we’ll be joining MoveOn, ACLU, Human Rights Watch and artists like Coldplay, Tom Morello, and others, by using Twitter and Facebook to get everyone online talking about closing Guantánamo.
Join us by taking action online today, January 21 and tomorrow, January 22:
- Tweet messages with the “#closegitmo” hashtag (if you follow the Amnesty USA, you can re-tweet messages that we will be posting)
- Spread the word! Our goal is to make #closegitmo a top trending topic, and our success depends on reaching many people in a short amount of time to jump-start the conversation. Help us deliver this important message by asking others to join us (especially those with large followings online!)
Written by Njambi Good, Director of Counter Terror with Justice (CTWJ) campaign for Amnesty International USA