On May 10, 2013, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture cosponsored a Congressional briefing on why it is imperative that we close Guantanamo. NRCAT founder, Dr. George Hunsinger, eloquently spoke about the unfolding human crisis at Guantanamo. “The consequences of ignoring Guantanamo,” he said, “its abuses, and its hunger-striking detainees are enormous --not only for America, but for the prisoners themselves, many of whom have reached the point that they would prefer to die rather than persist in more years of indefinite detention, which is itself tantamount to torture.” You can watch the video of the briefing here, with Dr. Hunsinger’s presentation starting at 36:10.
Guantanamo Briefing: From Crisis to Solution
Friday, May 10, 2013
I invite you to attend a briefing this Friday to address the current situation at Guantanamo. More than 100 detainees are participating in a hunger strike to protest their detention without charge and dim prospects of ever leaving. Eighty-six individuals, including many of those on hunger strike, have been cleared for transfer by US authorities yet remain at Guantanamo. The hunger strike itself is a humanitarian crisis requiring urgent resolution. But the larger question of Guantanamo, the policy of indefinite detention, and the damage the prison's continued existence does to America’s reputation and security also need to be addressed.
Last week, President Obama vowed to renew efforts to close the prison, stating he would reengage Congress. This briefing will bring together expert voices to further inform Congress about the situation at Guantanamo and discuss the President’s current options for transferring men out of Guantanamo, as well as the long-term feasibility of closing the detention facility.
The panelists will be:
David R. Irvine, Brig. Gen., USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General, United States Army (Ret.); former intelligence officer on prisoner interrogation with Sixth Army Intelligence School; former state legislator.
Lawrence B. Wilkerson, Col., USA (Ret.)
Colonel, United States Army (Ret.); former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell; currently the Visiting Pamela C. Harriman Professor of Government at the College of William and Mary.
Dr. George Hunsinger
Hazel Thompson McCord Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary; ordained Presbyterian minister and a delegate to the official Reformed/Roman Catholic International Dialogue; leader of interfaith religious efforts to support human rights.
Pardiss Kebriaei, Esq.
Senior staff attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights; attorney representing several men who are currently or formerly detained at Guantanamo Bay, and frequent visitor of the prison.
Moderated by Kristine Huskey, Esq., Adjunct professor on national security at Georgetown University Law Center; member of the Board of Directors, The Constitution Project; counsel on Rasul v. Bush (2004) and Boumediene v. Bush (2008).
Co-sponsored by Congressman Connolly (VA-11), The National Religious Campaign Against Torture, New America Foundation, and The Constitution Project (author of a recent, bi-partisan report on US detention policy and practice).
When: Friday, May 10th at 10:00AM
Where: B-354, Rayburn House Office Building
James P. Moran