Friday, January 23, 2009

Good News for Guantanamo from Amnesty Int.

Just got this in my e-mail:

Hours ago, President Obama signed executive orders to close Guantánamo Bay and end the use of torture. This is amazing news -- first that it happened at all, but secondly that it happened so quickly. This would never have happened without your hard work. You deserve enormous credit for today’s actions. Your tireless campaigning built pressure that couldn’t be ignored. Almost 150,000 of you signed the petition. Thousands visited last year’s Guantánamo Cell Tour. And several hundred of you met face to face with government officials just this past year. You should be of proud of your accomplishment today.

There are some important concerns however about the executive orders:

There is potentially a year-long review before detainees know their fate. This
timeline should be expedited whenever prudent and possible.
There is no commitment to accept any detainee into the U.S., something Amnesty International has called for. Without this, other countries may also be unwilling to take detainees.
The order does not commit to prosecutions either through federal courts or under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The order only starts a process to look at the feasibility of doing so.

This is good news. I'm glad that he does seem to be ready keep promises like these. I'm just worried about the other promises he has made, such as making FOCA law. I hope he won't be so quick to act on that one. In fact, I'd rather he just forget it altogether. But that's probably too much to hope for... Free detainees from Guantanamo, but let's make the slaughter of millions of innocent babies even more widespread and accessible.