Talat Hamdani Speaks at the 2015 Rally to Close Guantanamo and End Torture

RuleofLawLogo,smallWashington, DC , January 11, 2015

I am Talat Hamdani, mother of Salman Hamdani. Salman was a first responder, EMT & NYPD Cadet who responded to the call of duty on 9/11/2001 and gave the ultimate sacrifice at the Twin Towers. Sadly, instead of acknowledging his sacrifice, there were speculations linking him to the attack of which he was a victim! Since he was not here to defend himself, I became his voice and cleared his name. The US Congress hailed him as an American hero. There are 60 detainees falsely accused & cleared for release at Guantanamo today .

Today, more than 13 years after Salman’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, a system invented by the Bush Administration, furthered by the U.S. Congress, and still ongoing – to the detriment of the Obama Administration.

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. The Senate Intelligence report released last month provided the factual evidence. However, some U.S. leaders continue to justify torture as necessary to protect Americans.  This is FALSE. Torture is wrong. Always. Torture doesn’t work. Our family members were tortured for 103 minutes while towers burned and planes crashed. And still Peaceful Tomorrows is adamantly against torturing anyone. Peaceful Tomorrows is for justice, accountability, and rule of law. Torture committed in the past may jeopardize any legitimate 9-11 trial in the future. To classify testimony about this torture denies all Americans the opportunity to learn what was perpetrated in our names.

We say enough! End the Military Tribunals and try the 9/11 suspects in Federal Court.

President Obama you promised to do this six years ago.  Use the power of your Presidency to finally do the right thing!   Guantanamo has become a corrupt and malignant system that only highlights further decay of the Rule of Law.

This was NEVER, NEVER something I wanted done in my son’s name! We must all stop allowing Guantanamo 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. And it will successfully prosecute those who committed murder on September 11th.

Guantanamo is America’s Shame! The America I believe in will CLOSE GUANTANAMO!

 

Filed in: Guantanamo & Military Commissions, News from Peaceful Tomorrows, PT Member's Visit and Discussions on Guantanamo, Restoring Rule of Law, Rule of Law: Guantanamo and Civil Liberties, Talat Hamdani

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