Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Andy Worthington on Obama's False Guantanamo Promises (Video)

Andy Worthington has posted a video at his website highlighting his comments at a recent rally to free Shaker Aamer. The July 18 rally, called by the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, was held outside the UK Parliament building in London.

Besides talking about the just cause of discharging Shaker from Guantanamo, the last British prisoner held at the US military prison, who has been cleared by two administrations for release, yet still held indefinitely with dozens of others similarly cleared, Worthington concentrated on the recent promises Obama made to address the prisoners' situation.

Worthington wrote:
It is, of course, outrageous that Shaker is still held, as he was cleared for release under President Bush in 2007, and again under President Obama in January 2010, along with 85 of the other 166 men still held. Opportunistic opposition to the release of prisoners by lawmakers in Congress, and shameful inaction on the part of President Obama are responsible for keeping these 86 men in Guantánamo.

Moreover, there are still no signs that any of the men will be released, even though they have been on a hunger strike to highlight their plight since February, and two months ago President Obama, responding to unparalleled criticism internationally and domestically, promised to resume releasing prisoners.

I can scarcely express my disappointment with President Obama, who should not have promised to resume releasing prisoners if he had no intention of doing so, and who will be remembered for his cowardice and hypocrisy unless he is true to his word.
Andy's disappointment at the machinations over Shaker and the rest of the prisoners, and the ongoing obscenity that is Guantanamo is shared by many human rights workers and attorneys, but evidently not by the Obama administration, which has been been talking a good game (when pinned down) about closing Guantanamo and the need for humane treatment, but since taking over the reins of the prison from the Bush/Cheney administration in January 2009 has done next to nothing to act upon their empty rhetoric.

Here's Andy's video:

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