Your Senators need to hear from you! They will vote tomorrow (Thursday) on an amendment that, if passed, would block access to the most effective and humane courts for criminal prosecutions of Guantanamo detainees.
This amendment favors military commissions, which do not achieve the same standard of justice as federal civilian courts. The amendment, introduced by Senator Graham (SC), would prohibit funding for Guantanamo detainees to be prosecuted in U.S. civilian courts. Detainees would instead be tried by military commissions. However, military commissions are fundamentally flawed. The ACLU has released a press statement calling military commissions a "second class system of justice."
This amendment would needlessly tie the President's hands in determining how to process Guantanamo detainees' cases. President Obama signed an executive order in January 2009 stating that the U.S. government would close the Guantanamo prison within one year. The Graham amendment would likely delay the closing of Guantanamo.
Call your Senators today and tell them to vote NO on the Graham amendment (S.A. 2669) to the Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Act of 2009 (H.R. 2847). By telling your Senators that Guantanamo detainees should be tried in federal civilian courts, not military commissions, you can help to repair the standing of the U.S. as a country committed to human rights and the rule of law. Call your Senators today at (202) 224-3121.
Looking for more information? Click here for a news article on the Graham amendment. Click here for a coalition letter against this amendment signed by prominent human rights organizations.