The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

On Eve of Missed Guantanamo Deadline President Announces He Will Hold 50 Without Trial

CCR Condemns Unconstitutional Indefinite Detention Scheme


In response to the announcement that President Obama has decided
he will detain 50 of the approximately 200 remaining men at Guantanamo
without trial indefinitely, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:

"Today was supposed to be the deadline by which President Obama
would close Guantanamo. Now it will be the anniversary of the
president's decision to abandon our most fundamental constitutional
principles. Our nation was built on the idea that no president or king
should have the power to imprison people solely at will, that a system
of checks and balances on executive authority is the bedrock of a free
democracy, and that it is up to the courts to determine whether
individuals have engaged in acts that justify depriving them of their

"Guantanamo remains open, and remains a symbol of lawlessness and
abuse. Now the President has committed to holding approximately 50 men
without any trial not as a result of anything the men have done in the
past but because of a fear of what the men may due in the future and
because they have been deemed too difficult to prosecute but too
dangerous to release. This is too much power to put into the hands of
one person. It is an assault on the rule of law, our principles and our
system of justice.

"The true danger is from the damage this will do to our reputation
in the world and the way we are viewed by those who are undecided about
our country, those we must most urgently convince that we are not their
enemy and that we truly value the ideals we claim to represent."

CCR has led the legal battle over Guantanamo
for the last eight years - sending the first ever habeas attorney to
the base and sending the first attorney to meet with a former CIA
"ghost detainee" there. CCR has been responsible for organizing and
coordinating more than 500 pro bono lawyers across the country in order
to represent the men at Guantanamo, ensuring that nearly all have the
option of legal representation. In addition, CCR has been working to
resettle the approximately 50 men who remain at Guantanamo because they
cannot return to their country of origin for fear of persecution and

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. CCR is committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

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