For too long, the prison at Guantanamo Bay has been a blight on our nation and a recruiting tool for extremists. President Obama has promised to close Gitmo before he leaves office, and we cannot let Congress derail that plan.
On Tuesday, President Obama unveiled a new plan to close Guantanamo this year. While his plan is not perfect, it is decidedly a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, some in Congress are trying to stop him and make sure this dark stain on America’s moral legacy stays open forever. Their extreme proposals would not only keep Guantanamo open, they would prevent the transfer of dozens of men imprisoned with no charge or trial, even while our government says they are not a threat.
As President Obama explained, “The detention facility at Guantanamo Bay does not advance our national security — it undermines it. It’s counterproductive to our fight against terrorists, because they use it as propaganda in their efforts to recruit. It drains military resources, with nearly $450 million spent last year alone to keep it running. Keeping this facility open is contrary to our values. It undermines our standing in the world.”
Despite Congressional opposition, President Obama is making progress on his promise. In just the last month,16 detainees were transferred out of Guantanamo, bringing the facility’s population below 100 for the first time since it opened in January 2002. We could actually succeed in closing Guantanamo this year, but we need your help convincing Congress.