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9/11 Families Group Urges Congress to Shut Guantanamo Down

This is the text of a letter distributed to members of Congress today by September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows:

As a member of an organization of those who lost loved ones in the events of September 11, I urge you to help restore our national sense of justice and fairness by supporting the closing of Guantánamo prison and assuring Constitutional trials for the detainees who remain there.

We urge the rehabilitation and release of those detainees cleared for release and not charged, and the legal trials of those charged either in established U.S. federal courts, in U.S. military courts, or in international courts of law. We reject the use of indefinite detention in any form.

Some people have irrational fears that bringing the detainees into the United States, and trying and incarcerating them here, is somehow an unprecedented and exceptional danger. This is a notion that must be put to rest. No one has ever escaped from a maximum security prison in our country. Many convicted terrorists are already in our prisons, successfully contained and kept from doing harm.

We applaud the attempt to completely overhaul the MCA of 2006, but we would prefer it to be revoked outright. We believe that existing courts and laws are capable of dealing with even “the worst of the worst.”

Further, we encourage you to work toward bringing an end to extraordinary rendition and black sites. We particularly urge the closing Bagram Prison, which has become a de facto Guantánamo in the eyes of the world. Terrorists are created by these injustices.

Each of us has experienced the trauma and grief of a sudden loss of a loved one. For this reason, we are committed to turning our grief into a force for peace and justice. We must stop the cycles of retribution and violence that plague our world.

Sincerely,

Peaceful Tomorrows

This letter stands in contrast to another one sent by families of 9/11 victims, urging Congress not to prosecute terror suspects in civilian courts.

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