October 22, 2015, New York – In response to President Obama’s veto today of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which represents many of the men detained at Guantanamo, issued the following statement:
Today’s veto is important because it blocks congressional efforts to impose new, strict requirements on transferring our clients from Guantánamo, including many long cleared for release. But lawmakers’ attempts to keep Guantánamo open for partisan political gain are no excuse for President Obama’s failure to close the prison. President Obama has all the power he needs to transfer men out of Guantánamo, ramp up the administrative Periodic Review Board process to clear more men, and bring men into the U.S. for prosecution in federal court. What President Obama lacks is political will. If he doesn’t take bold steps now, he will fail to close Guantánamo, and that will be a central part of his legacy as president.
The Center for Constitutional Rights has led the legal battle over Guantánamo for nearly 14 years – representing clients in two Supreme Court cases and organizing and coordinating hundreds of pro bono lawyers across the country, ensuring that all the men detained at Guantánamo have had the option of legal representation. CCR is responsible for many Guantanamo cases in many venues, representing men in their habeas cases in federal court and before the military commissions and Periodic Review Boards, the families of men who died at Guantánamo, and men who have been released and are seeking accountability in international courts.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.