Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stay Strong Obama, Close Gitmo, End Torture!

President Obama's commitment to reverse and investigate Bush's brutal and illegal detention and interrogation policies is under real threat.

Torture advocates like former Vice-President Dick Cheney, perhaps fearing personal consequences for their actions, have launched a massive campaign to oppose Obama -- and, incredibly, they're winning. Even many members of Obama's own party are now withdrawing support for the closure of Guantanamo Bay. If a country like the US refuses to reject these policies, it will be a massive global step backwards for the cause of human rights.

Obama officials say visible public pressure is vital for them to stay strong on this issue. To make sure we're heard, let's put up a massive billboard right in the middle of Washington DC, where all the political staffers pass by every day. For $25 each of us can buy one square foot of support for President Obama; for $1000, we can own a letter -- click here:

The billboard will point to what we want - the closure of Guantanamo this year, all the victims of secret prisons accounted for, an independent investigation into past torture practices, those who authorized or committed acts of torture held accountable, and effective detention and interrogation practices that respect the rule of law in all ongoing wars.

As President Obama himself said in his National Security speech this week - these past 'War on Terror' policies were illegal, ineffective, alienated the United States and increased global insecurity. But, in the last two weeks decisions have been made about Guantanamo, military commissions, and photos of torture that put the "Hope over Fear' doctrine at risk. He is up against dangerous populist forces and unless stopped now, something quite frightening could emerge - a world of indefinite preventative detention, ongoing rendition and impunity.

It is a crucial time for us all to tell President Obama that we expect him to act on his principles and values and not just hear them in fine rhetoric. What better way than an unmissable billboard towering over the streets of the most powerful city in the world. Click here to fight back:

We could be at a turning point - away from lawless executive power and the politics of fear. But, we have to make our voices heard as we shout together that we don't believe the fear-hype, instead it is through respect for the law, each others dignity and justice that we can best overcome global violence and divisions.

The choice is ours at this juncture. In Obama's words, change does not come from him. It comes from all of us. Now, let's make it happen.