Civil Liberties Groups Join GOP in Opposition to Obama Version of Closing Guantánamo

Saturday, April 10, 2010

President Barack Obama will have to overcome political opposition on the left and the right if he wants to shutter Guantanámo Bay and move its terrorism suspects to the Thomson Correction Center in Illinois. Republicans in Congress, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), are staunchly against the idea of moving detainees to American soil, and now a coalition of civil liberties groups have joined the GOP in opposing the plan, but for different reasons.

As far as the coalition is concerned, Obama’s plan amounts to little more than moving the unconstitutional injustices being committed at Guantánamo to the U.S. The groups oppose subjecting detainees to military tribunals and keeping others behind bars indefinitely without trial.
The Alliance for Justice, American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International USA, Center for Constitutional Rights, Japanese American Citizens League, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Physicians for Human Rights, the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Church and Society and the Government Accountability Project want a “permanent, statutory ban on using the Thomson facility for indefinite detention without charge or trial or for military commission-related detention” before they will support the closure of Guantánamo.
“What’s the point of simply moving Guantánamo on shore?” Shayana Kadidal, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, told Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent. Chris Anders, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, added: “We oppose any legislative proposal that links the purchase of Thomson to indefinite detention without charge and the use of military commissions.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Civil Libertarians Reject Obama’s Guantanamo Closure Plan (by Spencer Ackerman, Washington Independent)


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