January 11, 2012, Washington, DC – Today, on the tenth anniversary of the arrival of the first detained men at the U.S. prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement:
Today marks the tenth anniversary of indefinite detention without charge or fair trials at the prison at Guantánamo, and it is an anniversary that should not have come. The men indefinitely detained at Guantánamo have been abandoned by all three branches of government, but the primary responsibility for the prison remaining open lies with President Obama.
On his second day in office, President Obama signed an Executive Order mandating the closure of Guantánamo within a year. Since then, his administration has in fact perpetuated and sanctioned the system at Guantánamo by continuing indefinite detentions without charge or trial, resuming illegitimate military commissions, and most recently, signing into law the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which substantially hinders the closure of Guantánamo by restricting the transfer of the remaining 171 detained men, over half of whom have been approved for transfer by every branch of government with a stake in the matter.
Despite its promise of a new era of accountability and respect for the rule of law, the Obama administration has also repeatedly acted to block virtually any accountability for those who have planned, authorized, and committed torture at Guantánamo and beyond.
On this day marking ten years of injustice at Guantánamo, we call on people of conscience everywhere to demand that the prison finally be closed and to intensify opposition to all unjust U.S. detentions and prosecutions conducted in the name of national security. We must also build opposition to the government’s covert and overt wars in a re-branded “War on Terror” which is being used to justify both military detentions and military strikes to the detriment of the safety and dignity of peoples in the United States and abroad.