The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

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


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

"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."