As Donald Trump stacks his cabinet with advocates of continued wartime detention at Guantánamo Bay, 40 Democratic legislators have written to Barack Obama urging a last-ditch effort to shut down the detention center once and for all.
A letter sent to the White House on Wednesday by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and obtained by the Guardian, warns of “torture’s resurgence” under the Trump administration unless Obama fulfills his thwarted “laudable” pledge to close Guantánamo.
The letter comes on the 15th anniversary of the opening of the detention center.
“[W]ith only days before your term ends, we ask that you definitively close the site by rapidly pursuing any and all options within your existing authority to seek lawful disposition of all of the 55 remaining individuals languishing in the camp,” the 40 Democratic members of the caucus wrote.
“Mr Trump must be deprived of the use of Guantánamo Bay.”
Signatories to the letter include civil rights icon John Lewis of Georgia, Iraq war veteran Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, senior justice committee member John Conyers of Michigan, and Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who is running for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee.
“Given the very real threat that the Trump administration will resume the barbaric forced interrogation practices utilized in the Bush era, we must act now to bring an end to this dark chapter in American history,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California, another signatory, in a statement provided to the Guardian.
As an additional preventative measure against a return to torture, the caucus letter urges Obama to declassify additional sections of the landmark 2014 Senate…