General Joseph Hoar (USMC, ret.), former Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command and current Middle East Policy Council board member, recently signed an open letter to President Obama along with 14 other retired high-ranking military officers requesting the immediate closure of Guantanamo Bay. You can view the letter below, or as a PDF here.
January 20, 2012
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President: Three years ago, you signed an executive order calling for the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to be closed within one year. On that day, many of us stood behind you in support of your commitment to close a prison synonymous with torture and second-class justice.
We recognize the political opposition you have faced in attempting to honor your commitment. Congress has repeatedly restricted your ability to transfer detainees held there who have been cleared for release. Congress has also restricted your authority to bring criminal suspects held at Guantanamo to justice in our time-honored federal criminal courts. However, despite these restrictions, we are asking you to act within the discretion available to you to move our nation forward in closing Guantanamo once and for all.
In the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress authorized new guidelines for transferring detainees out of Guantanamo. Under these guidelines, your administration can transfer detainees cleared for release to their home or to third countries if the Secretary of Defense issues a waiver in the interest of our national security demonstrating that measures will be taken to substantially mitigate the risk of transfer. We ask that you direct your administration to exercise this authority immediately and fully to demonstrate your good faith commitment to closing Guantanamo. Doing so is the first step among many needed to finally close this dark chapter in our history.
General Joseph P. Hoar, USMC (Ret.)
Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn, USN (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Charles Otstott, USA (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Harry E. Soyster, USA (Ret.)
Major General Paul D. Eaton, USA (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Don Guter, JAGC, USN (Ret.)
Rear Admiral John D. Hutson, JAGC, USN (Ret.)
Major General William L. Nash, USA (Ret.)
Major General Antonio ‘Tony’ M. Taguba, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General John Adams, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General David M. Brahms, USMC (Ret.)
Brigadier General James P. Cullen, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General Leif H. Hendrickson, USMC (Ret.)
Brigadier General Richard O’Meara, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General Murray G. Sagsveen, USA (Ret.)