October 20th, 2009
07:43 PM ET
13 years ago

Liberal group launches campaign to close Guantanamo

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/20/art.gitmoad1020.vv.jpg caption="A new ad out Tuesday urges Congress to close to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A coalition of retired generals and liberal activists joined forces Tuesday launching a $100,000 ad campaign - and multi-million dollar national grassroots effort - aimed at pressuring members of Congress to support President Obama's endeavor to close the Guantanamo Bay prison.

The 30-second spot, called "Close Gitmo Now," hit the airwaves Tuesday on network and cable television nationwide. It accuses Congress of being complacent in continuing policies from the Bush-Cheney administration.

"We want torture ended and we want to build the political base of support for those members of Congress who are willing to stand up," John Soltz, who heads the liberal veterans group VoteVets.org, told reporters on a conference-call Tuesday.

The "Campaign to Close Guantanamo," spearheaded by former Maine Rep. Tom Andrews, said they plan to move forward by targeting specific congressional districts in an attempt to restrain American's apprehension and possible fear of closing the prison. They did not say which districts they may focus on.

Update 7:43 p.m.: The Board of Directors of Keep America Safe, a conservative group focused on foreign policy issues, has responded in a statement to the new ad. "Guantanamo Bay is a secure, safe, humane facility where terrorists can be held, and when appropriate, tried. Americans expect their President to defend them from terrorists, not usher terrorists into the homeland," the group's directors said in a statement e-mailed to CNN.

Filed under: Guantanamo Bay
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Marie in California

    How about Obama closes Gitmo, brings all the detainees to Washington DC.....and then sets them up in a tent city on the White House grounds? Wouldn't that be the epitome of compassion by our president?

    Barring that......how about placing them on Alcatraz? They wouldn't be able to escape, plus would have a really great view of Pelosi's fiefdom.

    Personally, I think the detainees ought to remain at Gitmo, maybe forever. They most definitely earned their stay there.

    October 20, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  2. Idiot_Pelosi

    What a bunch of wimpy liberals. I don't care if they totured these thugs.

    These people would kill you in a heart beat.

    I can't stand liberals. These terrorists don't have any rights.

    So I can see what this country is coming to, you better kill a terrorist or crook because some wimpy liberal is going to want to give them rights.

    October 20, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  3. Idiot_Pelosi

    Put these terrorists in a prison closest to where Tom Andrews lives.

    Put them in his backyard, and leave them there.

    October 20, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  4. Enough

    Liberals can volunteer to move the terrorists into their guest rooms. What is wrong with these people that they are compassionate to a lousy terrorist that would like nothing more than to blow them up or chop off their heads? Sorry, I care more about thousands that were murdered on 9/11 by these thugs, than I care about how comfortable they are.

    October 20, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  5. ib

    People who really realize what the war is do not want this place closed. I think we should send them all as servants to King Obama and then maybe he will wake up to what this country is fighting before we have another attack on our homeland.

    October 20, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. john

    a black eye needs to be repaired. I'm ashamed that our great country would stoop so low as to torture and hold in confindment for years with out a trial, those we caught on a so called battlefield. let's bring them to trial where ever and end this farce. If you were an American citizen held for years and tortured in another countries jail how would you feel? and if you were innocent. You could scream at the top of your lungs your innocents but who would listen. who would care. We should. for All not just for us. Wrong done to another in our name is a wrong done to us.

    October 20, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  7. Lori in St Pete

    That's quite the photo accompanying the article. Was it taken today, or is a stock photo suggesting an ominous veneer? For the sake of honest journalism, I hope it isn't the latter.

    October 20, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  8. proud mother and sister of a soldier

    Yes, let's release these terrorists who have killed american soldiers because we need more enemy combatants for our soldiers to fight or attack us on our soil. Oh, I am wrong, the dems/liberals call them refugees now. Obviously, all who want them released has not had to send their sons off to war nor understand the role they afford us sitting comfortably in front of our big screen tv's.. We are now playing the same game as the dems played in Vietnam, don't give the military what they need to finish the war saving our mens lives. Obviously, the dems don't read history books either to learn from the Afghan victory over Russians and what we felt needed to secure that country. Instead of spending my dollars, learn from history and stop repeating our mistakes.!

    October 20, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  9. joe m

    liberals groups seem to have this preoccupation with this idea that america should never be in a position where others would have reason not to like america. reality is that THERE are people out there who don't like the US and closing gitmo will not change their views. from the simple practical point of view of cost, i too would not mind having this facility closed. it bothers me that we are spending so much money in keeping the facility open and ensuring that those detained there have the opportunity to go through some legal process. still, until there is some clear plan of what can be done with those still at gitmo (agreed by most as the worst of the worst, therefore the most likely to go back to the field and engage in violent acts againts the US) it is probably better to keep this place open and spend the money. if any of these people asking for the closure of gitmo believe that it is a simple decision, then they are sadly deluded. a letter of apology and a departing care package will not make those still looking to harm the country more likely to soften their views.

    October 20, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  10. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    Gitmo is a symbol of America's failure to live up to it's values. Therefore, it doesn't matter what condition the prison is in, it must go. We also should not have jail facilities that reside in a limbo with regards to the law. The prisons in the US are completely capable of handling terrorists and have done so for years. It's completely irrational that we have not closed this facility yet. I understand that Republican's are irrational but I'm disappointed that Democrats have not stepped up and gotten this issue resolved.

    October 20, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  11. cgillette369

    move GITMO prisoners to the White House.

    October 20, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  12. Here's a solution

    I think that the members of Close Gitmo Now should each adopt a detainee from Gitmo and take them home, where they can be responsible for their well being and their life time confinement, all while assuring the rest of us that they will protect the nation from these terrorists.

    October 20, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    if they get tax payer money for their trials here, i am going to flip

    October 20, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  14. Mike, FL

    Its great to see that this administration puts mudering terrorists before its own people, lets just ignore the fact that most of the released prisoners make it back to the same organizations that kill and injure american soldiers and marines and pick up where they left off. Who really cares what happens to those pieces of scum and if you do im sure you would change your mind if you were a captive of the taliban they dont play by the rules and you would be tortured (real torture not water boarding.) If you have had a family member killed in iraq or afghanistan or have watched your buddy die in front of you after he was shot, you might not feel so sorry for these people

    October 20, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  15. mike

    uhbuuba is just sending the prisoners over to Egypt to be interrogated.

    October 20, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  16. Tom L

    Iraq – as stated by President Obama – has entered a new phase of diplomacy and trade. THAT will be George Bush's legacy...he was right.

    October 20, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  17. Chad

    I like how "Keep America Safe" refers to the "homeland." Now that's some Orwellian lingo if I ever heard it. They also want to "try terrorists when appropriate." Yeah, that would be – according to the guidelines of our constitution. Otherwise, set them free. If you can't charge them with evidence then they are innocent. Keeping them there is inhumane and unconstitutional. It's also against everything this country stands for.

    October 20, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  18. Gitmo is not the problem

    I could never figure this out. Physical places do not cause torture, people do. Guantanmo is just a military base, just like the hundreds of other military bases around the globe. The Cubam facility is ideal for holding high profile and dangerous enemy combatants because of its physical location. Closing it makes no sense, and is clearly a purely political move - a "symbol" . The people being held at Gitmo are not being freed; they are being transferred around the world to a variety of places. This makes no sense. Obama could just as easily simply order a change of personnel at Gitmo; issue clear guidelines for prisoner treatment; and open up the facility to more inspections by independent agencies of the US, the Red cross; and international review by UN folks. This is a far better solution...but Obama would rather go for the campaign headline - "I closed Guantanamo"

    October 20, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  19. MatthewDetroit


    It is a stupid expensive idiotic plan by the liberals to give the prisoners or war more rights..... idiots.

    Why is the White House now targeting the US chamber of commerce.
    Sounds like little boy blue obama is unhappy that the US chamber of commerce is outspoken and against the health care bill and the tax and trade energy bill.

    Seems there are more taxes in both bills than the administration will admit to. It also causes higher business expenses and higher expenses for the middle class.

    Yep... now Rahm E... will target and try to vilify them like he did Fox....

    Just dont like to hear anyone elses opinion do you Hitler.
    Nice way to control the flow of information... Very Controlling like Chavez down in Venezuela....

    October 20, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  20. MatthewDetroit

    WHY are we closing Gitmo...

    Any of you sheep called liberal dems actually have your own opinion...

    What is your reason...

    Why would we close this prison and put these dangerous terrorist on US Soil.

    Why are we giving them more rights than they deserve...


    October 20, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  21. Sean

    It's about time this abomination in American history get shut down.

    What frightens me the most is how many comments here are obviously assuming the guilt of all detainees there. The only way you can assume this is by ignoring the facts we've learned about the many people who have been wrongly detained at Guantanamo over the years, and by setting aside our foundational, American principle of "innocent until proven guilty". Amazing that the U.S. citizens who claim to be the spokespeople for freedom and liberty are the very same ones who are most willing to immediately compromise those values when it comes to people who are different from us...

    October 20, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  22. MatthewDetroit

    No reason to close Gitmo. It is simply a political move. Not right at all. Most of you people have little if any understanding on the war or any of the combatants. These people are dangerous zealots...

    Some how they are going to be released by our system after we hand them OUR rights...
    When they blow something up, you will decide to blame President Bush.

    Although Bush held them out of the system for 7 years and kept them from harming us. Even though he would have held them forever awar from us.... But no, you people must be correct. Release them and let them kill us... and you will still blame those who would have never released them in the first place.

    Think about it.

    October 20, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  23. Gary

    Leave Gitmo open. Try those crazy people there. Do not bring them to our territory, do not offer them constitutional rights. Stop this nonsense talk! This is a war not a picnic. Al Queada must be laughing at these liberal nuts.

    October 20, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  24. Arthur

    Those people held in Gitmo are committed to destroying the US and everything American....this means you too, liberals! The real solution is for our soldiers and marines to take no prisoners, but instead kill our enemies on the battlefield.

    October 20, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  25. Michael

    Leave it to we liberals- WE KEEP OUR PROMISES! Gitmo is a National disgrace....period. The fact that too many people fear having these terrorists in their States is crazy. There are plenty of "terrorisits" in maximum security facilities NOW- Insurance Companies and their disregard for humanity is a National disgrace. At the LEAST we need a public option......the Progressives are fighting for the people- just like always!
    Don't let the Party of NO continue to run the show–THEY LOST IN NOVEMBER-WE WON!

    October 20, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
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