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October 20, 2009
3:32 PM

CONTACT: National Campaign to Close Guantanamo

Trevor FitzGibbon (202-406-0646)
Doug Gordon (202-822-5200)

Retired Generals, Veterans Group And Former Congressman Launch Campaign To Close Gitmo

Group Releases National TV Ad; Launches Grassroots Campaign To Urge Congress To Close Guantanamo

WASHINGTON - October 20 -  With the release of a 30 second television ad, a new campaign was launched today to close the US prison at Guantanamo Bay. The campaign, called the National Campaign to Close Guantanamo, was launched with a press call with Retired Generals Bob Gard and John Johns, Chairman Jon Soltz and former US Congressman and Director of the National Campaign to Close Guantanamo Tom Andrews.  The campaign will support President Obama’s call to close the prison and urge Congress to reject the scare tactics of Dick Cheney, and the far right, and shut down the Guantanamo.

To combat the right-wing fear machine, the National Campaign to Close Guantanamo will run political ads and lead a grassroots campaign in both Washington and key Congressional districts.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, principal architect of the torture policy of which Guantanamo has become an international symbol, and his daughter Liz, have led a concerted right-wing smear campaign, using many of the same scare tactics that the former Vice President used to persuade Americans of the need to invade Iraq, are now attempting to stampede Members of Congress and the American public into keeping Guantanamo open.

The first ad, which can be seen here, frames the political argument and will run on national cable for one week starting on Wednesday.

“It is time for Congress to stopping listening to the scare tactics of the right and end the failed Bush/Cheney policy of holding prisoners at Gitmo,” said former Congressman Tom Andrews, Executive Director of the National Campaign to Close Guantanamo. “We are launching this campaign to make sure that the voices of fear being led by Dick Cheney do not drown out the voices of reason that realize that Guantanamo is a failed policy and a black-eye for this nation.”

“It takes a strong person to keep America on the moral high ground while protecting this nation. Only a morally and intellectually weak person can toss all those considerations away so willy-nilly,” said Iraq War Veteran and Chairman of Jon Soltz.  “The ironic part is that those who want to close Guantanamo want to be tougher on those who are guilty of plotting to kill Americans than do those who would keep it open.  We want those terrorists tried, convicted, and if they’re not sentenced to death, sent to a Supermax prison to spend the rest of their days in the living hell of solitary confinement, away from the general population. Guantanamo only keeps these terrorists from facing true American justice.”

“As someone who has worn a military uniform and taken an oath to defend this country, I take nothing more serious than making sure our nation is safe,” said Retired General Robert Gard. “I can tell you that keeping Guantanamo open does not make our nation any more safe, in fact everyday it is open it makes our country less safe. It is time for Congress to stop playing politics and close Guantanamo.”



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