On September 11th 2001, my sister Laura was helping to run a seminar on information technology. When the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center, Laura was on the 106th floor.
Today, more than 11 years after Laura’s murder, there is still no justice for 9/11 victims and their families. The prison at Guantanamo and all it represents has never furthered this goal. Instead, torture, indefinite detention, and the failure to transfer inmates approved for release have made Guantanamo a powerful symbol of lawlessness; while the Military Tribunals in which the men accused of the 9/11 attacks are currently being tried fall egregiously short of the fair, transparent, and Constitutional trials that the United States should have conducted years ago.
9/11 families, along with all US citizens, indeed the entire world, have been betrayed!
Our organization, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows was founded because we believed that nonviolent responses to the 9/11 attacks were possible and would in the long run be the most effective way to prevent future terrorist attacks.
Peaceful Tomorrows’ members have consistently spoken out against wars that have produced hundreds of thousands of deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq. And, as we opposed war, we demanded efforts to bring those responsible for the 9/11 attacks to justice. We believe that the Rule of Law and respect for human rights are vital to promoting nonviolence and ensuring security.
But the Guantanamo Military Tribunals are a deeply flawed legal system invented by the Bush Administration, which Congress and the Obama Administration have tried unsuccessfully to rectify.
By decision of the Tribunal judge, all testimony concerning torture of the defendants will be classified. Outrageous! It is well known that the defendants were tortured. U.S. leaders justified this as necessary to protect us. To classify testimony about this torture denies all Americans the opportunity to learn what was perpetrated in our names.
In a ruling issued on December 20, but only made public last week the judge said lawyers in the 9/11 proceedings cannot share even unclassified materials with the press or public.
We say enough! End the Military Tribunals and try the 9/11 suspects in Federal Court.
President Obama you promised to do this four years ago. Now that you have been reelected, use the power of your Presidency to finally do the right thing! For all around the boundaries of the corrupt and malignant system that Guantanamo has become there is further decay of the Rule of Law. Because we have been unable to try and convict terrorists the Obama Administration has shamelessly resorted to using drones to assassinate terrorism suspects.
This was NEVER, NEVER something I wanted done in my sister’s name! We must none of us allow it to continue in our names.
The America I believe in will release the innocent Guantanamo detainees. It will hold those responsible for torture accountable. It will move the 9/11 trials into Federal courts.
The America I believe in will CLOSE GUANTANAMO.