Changing the Zip Code is Not Closing Guantanamo

Debra Sweet | February 25, 2016

It was never about keeping people in the U.S. "safe."  It's about, as Rubio, Trump & Cruz have been freely saying, having a place where people can be locked up forever without rights, merely on the order of a president.

Obama's plan preserves indefinite detention within the U.S. World Can't Wait says, release those who you can't charge because you have tortured.

Messages from other organizations that represent prisoners, including some fighting to close Guantanamo:

Reprieve, which represents prisoners in Guantanamo:

"For most of this Presidency, ‘work with Congress’ has been code for ‘ain’t gonna happen,’ so it’s far from plain whether the President really aims to force this plan through. If he does, while he is right to try to close Guantánamo, the plan has various problems."

“It leaves the door open to hold cleared men on U.S. soil without charge or trial, which is contrary to everything that we stand for. Our founding father, Alexander Hamilton, would have been shocked to see us holding men cleared for years by six federal agencies, on American soil without charge or trial."

Center for Constitutional Rights, which also represents prisoners:

"The centerpiece of the plan – moving those detainees who have not been and will never be charged with any crime to a prison in the U.S. – does not “close Guantánamo,” it merely relocates it to a new ZIP Code. The infamy of Guantánamo has never been just its location, but rather its immoral and illegal regime of indefinite detention. Closing Guantánamo in any meaningful sense means putting an end to that practice."

Witness Against Torture, which works to shut down Guantanamo:

"Obama’s plan proposes to close the facility but not end the legal and moral abomination it represents.         Indefinitely detaining men without charge or trial in the continental United States — in supermax prisons no less — is as unacceptable as indefinite detention at Guantanamo. The Military Commissions are unworkable and unfair, and cannot be tweaked into legitimacy. Saving money by changing the zip code of an unjust system does nothing to lessen its moral cost. Any talk of expenses should be about how to offer compensation to the men the United States abused and provide proper resources for their resettlement."

Amnesty International USA’s Security and Human Rights Program:

“The possibility of a new, parallel system of lifelong incarceration inside the United States without charge would set a dangerous precedent. If successfully mounted, it would be a devastating blow to basic principles of criminal justice."

Main Torture Changing the Zip Code is Not Closing Guantanamo


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.