from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture
Pax Christi USA Executive Director Sr. Patty Chappell, SNDdeN signed onto this letter.
Washington, D.C. – Forty-three prominent faith leaders wrote to senators today to ask them to support provisions that would allow the U.S. government to take practical steps toward drawing down the prisoner population at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and eventually closing the detention center for good. The key provisions are contained in the current Senate version of the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act and are likely to be voted on before the end of this year. The text of the letter and the names of the signers are below.
In the letter, the religious leaders tell senators that “these are practical, common sense provisions which place our great nation on the path toward solving the seemingly intractable problems posed by Guantanamo. In an era of austerity, they also provide good stewardship of taxpayer dollars by helping to eliminate wasteful spending. More importantly, they begin to address a serious moral dilemma – our nation cannot be a beacon of liberty and justice while continuing to operate an offshore prison which disregards the rule of law. It is time for us to end this moral crisis.”
Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, which coordinated the letter, and one of the letter’s signatories, noted, “As a minister, I understand the power of symbols. Guantanamo is a symbol of torture and indefinite detention. It is a place that was created to exist outside the basic values of our nation. Guantanamo should have never been opened, and we should move to close it as soon as reasonably possible.”…