At a packed briefing on Capitol Hill, Gitmo attorneys pleaded to Congress on behalf of starving detainees at Guantanamo Bay to shut down the prison and free the dozens of men cleared for release.
Speakers included rights activists, religious clergy and Bush administration officials who condemned the past and current treatment of prisoners, particularly those being force fed.
Additional concerns were raised about detainee treatment, indefinite detention and the eroding moral standing of the United States in the international community.
Although Congress has the power to close Guantanamo, it has thus far kept it running and all signs point to its continued operation. Therefore attention is turning away from Capitol Hill and being focused on the President to fulfill his promise and shut down the notorious prison.
Last week, President Barack Obama renewed the pledge he made 5 years ago to close Guantanamo. But years of similar statements from the president without any action have left many skeptical.
The briefing is the first to take place since Obama’s pledge, in hopes that it will put pressure on him to act on his words and Congress to participate in greater dialogue and oversight on the prison’s operations.
- Protesters urge US president to shut Gitmo down (guantanamobayinfo.wordpress.com)
- Americans demand Gitmo closure (rinf.com)
- Why I Am on a Hunger Strike to Shut Down Gitmo (counterpunch.org)