They’re Already Here: Local Opposition To Closing Guantanamo Defies Reason

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 12, 2015
CONTACT: Amy Runyon-Harms, Executive Director at amy@progressnowcolorado.org

DENVER: As politician county sheriffs in Colorado joined Republicans in Congress to spread baseless fear and misinformation about the possible transfer of detainees from the illegal detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to federal prison facilities in Colorado, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on local citizens to reject the fear mongering–and support President Obama’s campaign promise to end a terrible blight on America’s moral authority.

“Our nation’s reputation as a moral leader in world affairs has been severely damaged by the illegal imprisonment without trial of hundreds of people rounded up by the Bush administration in the months after the 9/11 terror attacks,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “Closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center was a campaign promise made by President Obama eight years ago, and it’s the right thing to do today. Colorado already has some of the world’s worst terrorists imprisoned at the Supermax facility in Florence. There is no greater danger to Coloradans from transferring Gitmo detainees to our state, and we have so much to gain from doing away with one of the worst examples of abuse of basic human rights in American history.”

Federal officials have toured federal prison facilities in Colorado in recent weeks, including the ADX Florence “Supermax” prison that already holds convicted terrorists such as Ramzi Yousef and convicted 9/11 attack conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. President Barack Obama is considering use of executive authority to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center and to transfer the remaining 112 detainees to American soil to receive due process under American criminal law. Republican politicians have opposed President Obama’s call to close the prison, and most Colorado politicians, including Democrats, have been so far unwilling to back President Obama’s proposal if it means transferring Guantanamo detainees to federal prisons in our state.

“Republicans attacking the President for trying to close Gitmo’s detention center are hoping to cover up an ugly history of torture and imprisonment without trial that they themselves share guilt for,” said Runyon-Harms. “But it is also very disappointing that so few Democrats in Colorado are willing to stand with our President and do our part to end the shame the Guantanamo Bay prison has brought on our nation. As a Coloradan, I am not afraid of doing the right thing to restore America’s good name in the world. It’s time for our leaders on both sides to summon up the backbone needed to close Gitmo–and restore the rule of law to American foreign policy.”

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