For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Jen Nessel, CCR, (212) 614-6449, jnessel@ccrjustice.org

Gitmo Attorneys: Kelly's Aggressive Role at Guantánamo Makes Him "Unfit" to Lead DHS

WASHINGTON - In advance of the Senate confirmation hearing scheduled this afternoon for Retired Major General John Kelly to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement:

General Kelly’s aggressive oversight of the illegal military prison at Guantánamo Bay disqualifies him to head the Department of Homeland Security. Presiding over a population of detainees not charged or convicted of crimes, over whom he had maximum custodial control, Kelly treated them with brutality. His response to the detainees’ peaceful hunger strike in 2013 was punitive force-feeding, solitary confinement, and rubber bullets. Furthermore, he sabotaged efforts by the Obama administration to resettle detainees, consistently undermining the will of his commander in chief. His temperament and actions make him unfit to lead an agency that currently holds tens of thousands of immigrants, including many fleeing violence and many in long-term indefinite detention.

Kelly’s recent vow to end “political correctness” in U.S. national security policy is a thinly veiled endorsement of policies and practices that are illegal and immoral, including torture and racial and religious profiling, His statement is a clear warning sign, and the Senate must reject his nomination to preserve and protect the rule of law.

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