Gitmo Attorneys: Mattis Must Pledge to Close Guantánamo and Reject Torture

January 11, 2017, New York – In advance of the Senate confirmation hearing scheduled tomorrow for Retired General James Mattis to be Secretary of Defense, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement:

Guantánamo Bay has become a shameful symbol of  egregious abuses of basic human rights, including torture and indefinite detention. It is imperative that General Mattis publicly affirm and follow through on what the past two administrations have concluded: that Guantánamo should be closed. He must continue efforts to clear, release, and resettle detained men, and ensure that the unlawful regime of indefinite detention is finally ended and not merely relocated to U.S. soil. In no uncertain terms he must affirm the illegality of torture and commit to complying with U.S. obligations under international law, including those under the Geneva Conventions and Convention Against Torture.

In the face of an incoming president who has stated he will keep Guantánamo open, opposed the release of cleared detainees, and vowed to “load it up with some bad dudes,” General Mattis must stand in the way.

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


Last modified 

January 11, 2017