GROUP VISITED GUANTANAMO SAYS OBAMA MUST KEEP GITMO OPEN
Sacramento, Calif. – Move America Forward (MAF) the nation’s largest grassroots pro-troop organization, criticized President Obama’s decision to hire high-powered K street lawyer Clifford Sloan to renew the President’s efforts to close Guantanamo Bay, citing numerous failed attempts and security challenges.
“President Obama has made closing Guantanamo a priority only when it was necessary to please his very liberal base, but most of middle America don’t support closing this important military asset,” said Danny Gonzalez, Director of Communications for MAF. “Polls show that up wards of 63% of Americans want to keep Guantanamo Bay open, showing the failure of President Obama to convince them otherwise over the past 5 years.”
Move America Forward (MAF) sent a delegation to Guantanamo Bay in 2008 and concluded that the facility met and exceeded all standards of decency and respect to the prisoners held there, who are the most dangerous terrorist suspects in custody.
“When we toured GITMO in 2008 we saw that they’re allowed to play soccer, do art, eat McDonald’s and watch Harry Potter movies if they want. Only the most violent and dangerous detainees are kept isolated, and that’s based on their behavior. There is no torture or violation of human rights going on at GITMO” said Gonzalez.
“The President wrongly wants to treat terrorist as common criminals and insert them into the U.S. criminal justice systems and all of the rights afforded to American citizens. That is a disastrous approach because enemy combatants should be tried under a military justice system.
The group also cited the President’s previous failed attempts to find a prison on U.S. soil to relocate the prisoners. “When President Obama had Eric Holder visiting towns like Thomson, Illinois to find a prison to house the terrorists, the local population protested. We don’t want a GITMO on American soil, so where is President Obama going to send these dangerous terrorist suspects?”
MAF says it’s necessary to keep the prisoners under the watchful eye of the U.S. military and not a foreign government like the Yemenis. “In the past hundreds of Al Qaeda operatives or suspects held at GITMO were released to other countries for safekeeping. However many of these dangerous operatives were subsequently let free, then later found back on the battlefield. This has happened under President Bush and Obama. It is irresponsible to transfer terrorist suspects to a country like Yemen if we know that they are either unwilling or unable to keep them detained when they present a danger to American security or our troops in the Middle East,” said Gonzalez. “For all those reasons and more, President Obama must KEEP GITMO OPEN!”