For Immediate Release
Campaign Applauds Transfer of Detainees from Gitmo
Hits Back at Hypocritical, Fear-Based Attacks from Right-wing Critics
WASHINGTON - Statement by
former Congressman Tom Andrews, Director, National Campaign to Close
We applaud the
President and Attorney General Eric Holder for moving justice forward today with
the transfer of some of the detainees held at Guantanamo. We join with
General Colin Powell and General David Petraeus and the growing movement of
Americans who support the President’s decision to close the facility. As
long as Guantanamo remains open, America’s image abroad will continue to be one
of torture and our ability to lead will be hampered.
If the past is
prologue, today will be fear vs. fact. Partisan, fear based attacks by
right-wing critics of President Obama are likely, including the charge that
trying suspects of the 9/11 attack in U.S. courts will endanger Americans.
In fact, 195 terrorists have been convicted in U.S. federal courts since
2001. The terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993 were tried
and convicted in U.S. courts and are now locked away in a federal supermax
prison. Yet Republicans in Congress will no doubt attack the transfer of
these detainees as a threat to Americans.
responsible for 9/11 are not warriors, they are criminals and mass
murderers. Treating them as anything else plays into al Qaeda’s hands and
rewards them an elevated status that only stokes their desire for
“martyrdom.” They need to be subjected to the full force of law and
justice – nothing less.