September 11th Advocates Statement Regarding The Closing Of Guantanamo Bay
For immediate release
January 23, 2009
The Guantanamo Bay Detention Center continues to be an enormous stain on America’s reputation. Newly elected President Obama has taken the first step in removing this stain by keeping his campaign promise to the American people.
The temporary halting of proceedings at Gitmo gives us the “audacity to hope” that President Obama will be able to restore America's good name, which has been repeatedly tarnished during the past eight years.
We appreciate the tough decisions that President Obama has been forced to make and admire him for taking these difficult tasks on. We look forward to hearing his plan for closing Guantanamo Bay forever, finding a just way to try the detainees and putting an end to this horrific chapter in America's history.
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Lorie Van Auken
Additonally, please see earlier statement below, which further explains our position.
September 11th Advocates Statement
April 3, 2008
As women whose husbands were killed on September 11 2001, we feel strongly that the perpetrators of that horrific crime should be brought to justice. But first it is imperative to prove that these six detainees are indeed the guilty parties.
Unfortunately, the Administration insists on trying the suspects in the broken military commissions system. Prosecuting these men within a system that is secretive in nature and lacking in due process, and which uses evidence tainted by questionable interrogation methods and possibly even torture, is a dangerous endeavor. All Americans, and indeed the entire international community, must have the opportunity to witness for themselves the body of evidence that ties these individuals to the 9/11 terrorists’ plot. Otherwise the credibility of any verdict will lack legitimacy. Moreover, unless these trials are above reproach, any convictions will bring the wrath of the international community, damaging what is left of America’s standing in the world. Considering that we continue to rely heavily on cooperation from other nations to provide us with intelligence information on would be terrorists, this course of action can only be detrimental to these crucial relationships, thereby jeopardizing our national security.
These trials, when they finally take place, will be scrutinized around the globe. Unless the victims’ families, the American public and the entire world can be convinced that we are trying and convicting the people who are truly responsible for the 9/11 crimes, these trials will be seen as a miserable failure, dimming our prospects of improved international relationships, and making us more vulnerable to terrorist attacks in the future.
On behalf of ourselves, our husbands, and our families, we support the American Civil Liberties Union in its pursuit of justice and insistence on due process. The only outcome worth pursuing is the truth, and the only way get there is by fair trials that uphold the Constitution.
September 11th Advocates
Lorie Van Auken