February 5, 2015 – In advance of today’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Senator Kelly Ayotte's bill to stop transfers from Guantanamo, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
Senators Kelly Ayotte, Richard Burr, Lindsey Graham and John McCain apparently deem keeping Guantanamo open as an internationally recognized symbol of torture and lawlessness a price worth paying in order to achieve their higher objective of undermining Obama's legacy. This legislation would block the Obama administration from releasing men who have not been charged in over 13 years and have been cleared for release – whether by an inter-agency Task Force in 2009 or by the Periodic Review Board today – by consent of senior officials from every government agency with a stake in these detentions, including the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, State, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.When maintaining the current momentum of transfers is a moral imperative and national security priority, it is shameful to draw upon fears about recent events to push a bill that at its core is nothing other than a craven attempt to score partisan political points.
The Center for Constitutional Rights has led the legal battle over Guantánamo for more than 13 years – representing clients in two Supreme Court cases and organizing and coordinating hundreds of pro bono lawyers across the country, ensuring that nearly all the men detained at Guantánamo have had the option of legal representation. Among other Guantánamo cases, the Center represents the families of men who died at Guantánamo, and men who have been released and are seeking justice 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.