In a coordinated day of action to urge Congress to close the Guantanamo Bay Prison, twenty Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans from across the country descended on Capitol Hill last week to push back against Republican scare tactics and urge Congress to support President Obama's decision to close the prison.
The veterans, organized by New Security Action and Vote Vets, are also joined in a coordinated Twitter campaign calling for the closure of Guantanamo by musicians and organizations including Coldplay, Trent Reznor, Rosanne Cash, Tom Morello, Amnesty International USA, ACLU, Common Cause, MoveOn.org, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch and many others.
The twenty veterans on the Hill today traveled to Washington on behalf of more than 2000 veterans who have signed an open letter to Congress calling for Gitmo to be closed.
Last week marked the one year anniversary of the Presidents declaration that Gitmo would close within a year which has been delayed. The veterans are targeting Congress to remove the barriers to finally close the prison. In their visit to Capitol Hill, the Veterans delivered an open letter to Congress from vets across the country.
“For our troops on the ground in Afghanistan, an essential element of the counter-insurgency strategy is winning hearts and minds and gaining trust of key leaders. The mere presence of Gitmo, and the stories of torture it represents makes it all that much harder for our forces to forge a trusting working relationship with local leaders,” said Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran and Chairman of VoteVets.org. “That’s why even General Petraeus has said that closing Guantanamo is of utmost importance.”
“Everyday that Gitmo remains open is another day that our national security is threatened,” said Tom Andrews, Executive Director of New Security Action. “It is far past time that Congress listened to Colin Powell, General Petraeus, Secretary Gates and President Obama and close the prison.”
To see the tweets by the artists and organizations, click here.