Plans for shutdown must be definite and lawful
President Obama is correct in his understanding and willingness to end the use of the Guantánamo prison [“Gitmo closure elusive, Obama looks at other steps,” seattletimes.com, May 1]. What is needed now is a definite date.
This means: release dates for the 86 detained persons already cleared for release, court dates in U.S. federal courts for the remaining prisoners if they have been charged at all, and release dates for prisoners, if not lawfully charged.
Legal remedy must become available to families of prisoners. All of these actions must be made definite, not remain as indefinite goals.
If we want civil societies to treat us as we deserve to be treated — nonviolently — then we as a society must provide the best lawful policy and legal remedies to encourage non-vengeful, decent conduct toward us. Anything less than the best lawful policy ironically invites the harms that we deeply want to end.
Laurence Ebersole, area coordinator, Amnesty International, Seattle