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Portland Close Guantanamo Coalition
We welcome Portland, Oregon, residents to join us in our campaign for the following draft city council resolution.
Adopt a Resolution supporting the closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba in the interests of human rights, national security and justice; calling on Congress to remove the senseless ban on the domestic transfer of those detainees approved for transfer; and offering to welcome one or more approved for transfer detainees into the Portland community.
WHEREAS, the continued detention without charge or trial of the men in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba who have been approved for transfer is a violation of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and human rights treaties to which the United States is a party, and is incompatible with our national and local values of freedom and justice; and
WHEREAS, these detainees have been deemed no future threat by unanimous agreement of the Department of Justice, Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and Joint Chiefs of Staff; and
WHEREAS, Guantánamo detainees have undergone a wide range of interrogation procedures that constitute torture or maltreatment; and
WHEREAS, Congresswoman Barbara Lee writes: “Guantánamo...has led the world to question America's commitment to the rule of law, due process, and the rejection of torture as an acceptable interrogation practice...”; and
WHEREAS, In January 2014, 29 retired Generals and 3 Admirals wrote President Obama reminding him they oversaw his signing of 3 executive orders that banned torture, closed CIA “black sites” and put Guantanamo on a path to closure. They further urged him to transfer all cleared detainees as soon as possible and complete reviews on the remaining eligible detainees by the year’s end further stating, “Guantanamo does not serve America’s interests. As long as it remains open, Guantanamo will undermine America’s security and status as a nation where human rights and the rule of law matter.”; and
WHEREAS, President Obama has vowed repeatedly to close the detention center at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, stating in January 2009 that Guantánamo would be closed by January 2010, later stating that, "It is a recruitment tool for extremists"; and
WHEREAS, many detainees cleared for transfer cannot be repatriated for various reasons; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Congress has shamefully passed a ban on the transfer of any cleared detainees onto our own soil, even while the Obama Administration sends ambassadors around the world looking for foreign sanctuary for these approved for transfer detainees; and
WHEREAS, according to Portland Online Code and Charter, Section 23.01.010 “It is the policy of the City of Portland to eliminate discrimination based on race, religion...national origin...”; and
WHEREAS, the city of Portland has many resources to help such detainees with trauma from their imprisonment, and is known as a progressive, welcoming community; and
WHEREAS, the ban on the domestic transfer of detainees reflects widespread misinformation and Islamophobia that is detrimental to cohesion and inclusiveness in our communities;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City of Portland that Portland City Council:
- Supports and reaffirms President Obama’s call for the closure of Guantánamo in furtherance of our country’s human rights and national security interests;
- Calls on Congress to remove its senseless ban on the domestic transfer of detainees; and
- Makes known that one or more detainees approved for transfer would be welcome into the Portland community.
Be it further resolved that copies of this Resolution be sent to the President and Attorney General of the United States, the United States Senators for Oregon, Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Jeff Merkley, and the United States Representatives for Portland, Representative Susan Bonamici, First District and Representative Earl Blumenauer, Third District.