For Immediate Release
Human Rights Violations Revealed by WikiLeaks
WASHINGTON - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement after reports from The New York Times and The Guardian detailed the imprisonment of people at the notorious detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, including those who had no connections to terrorism and were held for long periods of time even though U.S. government officials believe that those detainees proposed little to no risk.
"Today we confirmed what we already knew: that the U.S. government was holding and torturing innocent people at Guantánamo Bay in violation of their most fundamental human rights. Such prisoners included an Al Jazeera journalist who was held for 6 years just to be asked about the news channel, and a 14 year old who was a kidnap victim.
"Our policies in Guantánamo, and our inability to close the prison there, severely undermines our democracy here at home. We cannot credibly claim to support democracy-building abroad when we have tortured people and held them indefinitely without allowing them their due process rights.
"I reject any efforts to silence or minimize the information that was released. The American people and the world deserve to know. Our democracy is dependent upon transparency and openness. The White House has a responsibility to renew its efforts to close Guantanamo.
"No amount of rhetorical homage to the ‘American system of justice’ can make up for the realities of Guantánamo. The leaking of these files is not a national security risk: our policy of torture and indefinite detention absent due process rights in Guantánamo is. When will the President begin to show moral leadership on this matter which is central to who we are as a nation? The first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, were ratified December 15, 1791. What happened on September 11, 2001 cannot cause us to repeal our sacred constitutional traditions, or to show weakness in standing to defend Constitutional principles.
“Both Congress and the Administration have a responsibility to right this wrong. We must close Guantánamo Bay now, provide redress for those tortured or detained indefinitely. We cannot allow Guantánamo to continue to be a blight on the U.S. Constitution,” said Kucinich.