FireDogLake Interviews Harkin On His Efforts to Close Gitmo

SEPTEMBER 5TH, 2007 | ryan.alexander

Senator Tom Harkin did an interview with Christy Hardin Smith of FireDogLake to discuss his efforts to close down the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and his new petition that calls on the Senate to only confirm a nominee for Attorney General that supports closure of the facility:

Yesterday afternoon, I spoke with Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa discussing his proposed legislation on closing the Guantanimo detention facility. We talked for quite a while about the Bush Administration’s utter disregard for the rule of law and for the human rights principles that America has championed for years. Our nation’s standing in the world has suffered for it and it is going to take enormous efforts to rebuild our relationships with allies and our nation’s reputation. It is going to be a very long road back from the Bush years.

As Sen. Harkin said to me, it is well past time that America stepped back from operating outside the rule of law, and lived up to our values instead of hypocritically becoming the very thing we say we fight against.

Sen. Harkin is currently working with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and a number of others, including Senators Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Barack Obama (D-IL), and Dick Durbin (D-IL), on an amendment to the next defense bill, requiring closure of Gitmo and the transfer of prisoners held therein to facilities where they could receive a fair and full trial on any charges that ought to have been filed years ago, if at all.

Sen. Harkin needs some help, though, in pushing this legislation further down the road of consideration so please contact your Senators and ask them to support S. 1469 as it moves through the Senate Armed Services Committee and into the full Senate.

Further, let your Senators know that whomever is nominated as the next Attorney General, the nominee must commit to supporting closure of Guantanimo. You can push that along by signing this petition for Sen. Harkin. The next Attorney General must be someone who is committed to the rule of law not to a unilateral executive who can violate the law at will. As Sen. Harkin said to me, it is impossible for the next AG to support the rule of law and indefinite detention at Guantanimo without a full, fair trial. The Kafka-esque treatment of these prisoners held in all of our names must end, because the damage being done to the reputation of the US, and the negative impact on our ability to fight the root causes of terrorism, are making us less safe.

Click here to read the rest of Christy Hardin Smith’s interview with Senator Harkin on | digg this | stumble it! | share on facebook

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