WCW Home News Recent News 8-16-11 Ten Years After 9/11 the Fight for Justice Continues
8-16-11 Ten Years After 9/11 the Fight for Justice Continues PDF Print E-mail

From CCR Newsletter | Original article

George W. Bush began the first decade of the 21st century by shredding the Constitution. President Barack Obama ended it by refusing to close Guantánamo; end unlawful, targeted killings; cease isolating political activists and Muslims in special prisons; or hold virtually anyone accountable for the many serious international human rights violations committed in the name of national security. As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and the detention of Guantánamo prisoners, CCR continues to forcefully demand that President Obama keep to his pledge to close Guantánamo with justice and move towards compliance with constitutional and human rights obligations.
CCR represents many individuals who, even years later, have received no justice for the abuses they have suffered. The victims include hundreds of men and women held at Abu Ghraib; men held indefinitely, tortured and abused at Guantánamo and in black sites around the world; Muslim, Arab and South Asian men rounded up and illegally detained in the US; and Maher Arar, the Canadian citizen who was rendered to Syria by the U.S. for a year of torture and detention. It is unacceptable that these victims are expected to forego legal redress simply because the courts accede to the demands of the most powerful executive branch in U.S. history and a complicit congress.
Although George W. Bush marched us into two illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama has almost tripled the number of fronts on which the U.S. military is deployed. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan alone, and millions have been displaced. Over 6,000 U.S. military service members have been killed, and more than 50,000 wounded in wars that have cost the American people trillions of dollars. It’s not just where these wars are being waged, but also how. Drone strikes in Pakistan, Libya, and Yemen (countries on which Congress has not declared war) kill thousands. To the extent that Bush and his advisors ignored the law to justify torture, Obama and his advisors have ignored the law to justify warfare. Currently, Obama’s advisors are going so far as to argue that the President can bypass the War Powers Resolution’s restrictions on unilateral, executive war making simply by using high-tech weaponry like drones, which limit the presence of troops on the ground.
After a decade, more detainees have died in Guantánamo than have been charged with a crime, more illegal wars are being fought today than under Bush, more laws are subverted in the name of national security, and the executive branch has seized more power than it’s ever had. Nonetheless, CCR ends the decade with the same convictions as when it began. We deeply reject that the U.S. president can declare war on anyone in the world to combat terrorism. We demand that the 171 men who remain in Guantánamo are either tried or released; that torture is denounced and officials are held accountable; that illegal wars are ended; and that the national security state be dismantled. Nothing less than justice is acceptable — no matter who the President is.

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