Why Now Is the Time to Call the White House


By Palina Prasasouk | April 29, 2013

166 ribbons tied to the ellipse at the White House/January 11th, 2013/Witness Against Torture

166 ribbons tied to the ellipse at the White House/January 11th, 2013/Witness Against Torture

At first military officials at Guantánamo Bay denied that there was any hunger strike happening. Then, they reported over 40 men were on hunger strike. It was after a raid in the cell blocks by military and after a media black out that it was learned that 93 men were on hunger strike. Shaker Aamer had reported to his lawyer that the number was more like 130.

It is day 82 of the hunger strike and the US military recognizes 100 detainees on hunger strike.

21—force fed 5—hospitalized 2—suicide attempts recognized by military

I was asked last week by a friend, what will it take to shut down Guantánamo.
“Pressure on Obama,” is the only answer I can give.

After 11 years, a second term in office, and what seems like lawyers speaking to cement walls, the men are hopeless.

I believe, the detainees in Guantánamo right now are doing what it will take to shut it down either by officials or by death.

“They are not done yet, and they will not be done until there is more than one death,” anonymous Muslim advisor at GTMO.

They’re speaking from the cells on day 82; multiples stories have been run in the Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Miami Herald, Democracy Now, even Rolling Stone and local news outlets. Multiple phone calls have been made to The White House and to Southcom. It has been the job of the attorneys and reporters to relay the truth from inside Guantánamo and now we must do our part in putting the pressure on Obama to move the teapot off the burner.

A teacher from elementary school once told me that reading about history is important so that we learn from our mistakes. I believe Guantánamo Bay will be one of the most prolific mistakes in US history and continues to be so each day the detention camp remains open.

Please take a little time to call The White House, Southcom, and/or the DoD. It will probably take a little less time to call than it took to read this blog.

Call the White House and insist that President Obama fulfill his promise to close Guantanamo: 202-456-1111, 202-456-1414 or submit a comment online.

Call the U.S. Southern Command to decry the conditions at Guantanamo: 305.437.1213

Call the Department of Defense: 703-571-3343

Talking points: “I am concerned about the expanding hunger strike and I appreciate General Kelly’s (Southcom Commander) recent acknowledgement before Congress of the “devastating” situation at Guantanamo. We are concerned over the costs associated, both financially and what it does to America’s image, and concerned about the repercussions for our troops and what it means to ask young kids to force feed people we admit are innocent. I ask that, in the face of the failure of our elected officials to close Guantanamo, our Military will refuse to participate in force feedings.”

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