Members of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows implored Senators to support the Guantánamo detainee transfer provisions included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014. The Guantánamo provisions in the Senate NDAA, as reported out of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), provide the necessary flexibility to close Guantanamo responsibly.
Yesterday on the Senate floor, Senator Feinstein referenced their letter, which states: “Guantánamo has become a stain on our national reputation. Today, it is simply no longer sustainable – ethically, strategically, or financially…We are keenly aware of the continuing injustice of holding the 164 prisoners now at Guantanamo prison without trial for these many years. These prisoners have been denied the justice, which Americans take pride in as a source of national strength. At the same time, our 9/11 family members continue to be denied justice by the seemingly imperceptible progress of trying those prisoners under the current military commissions. We advocate the immediate release of those who have been cleared for release, and the transfer of the remaining prisoners to be tried in US federal courts, which have successfully tried and convicted scores of terrorists in the past decade.”
The letter points out that the U.S. spends nearly $2.7 million per detainee, per year. It closes “Our relatives died on 9/11; we do not want to see U.S. principles compromised in their names.”