Since January 2002, it has been twelve years since George Bush opened the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Barack Obama vowed to close it as part of his presidential campaign.
“As President, I will close Guantanamo, reject the Military Commissions Act and adhere to the Geneva Conventions. Our Constitution and our Uniform Code of Military Justice provide a framework for dealing with the terrorists.”
When Obama assumed office in January of 2009, he again, vowed to close it within a year:
“This is me following through on not just a commitment I made during the campaign, but I think an understanding that dates back to our founding fathers, that we are willing to observe core standards of conduct, not just when it’s easy, but also when it’s hard.”
In a speech about national security in May 2009, Obama stated:
“instead of serving as a tool to counter terrorism, Guantánamo became a symbol that helped al-Qaeda recruit terrorists to its cause. Indeed, the existence of Guantánamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.”
President Obama actually signed an “executive order” to close the prison.
It is now 2014, but the prison is still open. There are still over 150 men held without charges and with no trial, victims of gross human rights violations. I wrote this little poem for President Obama, which is on the way to the White House at the moment. Will he read it? Probably not. Will he read the other letter that I mailed to him? I doubt it. Will somebody read it? Possibly.
Winning the election of 2008,
Obama is President of the United States,
Campaigning on HOPE, speaking of CHANGE,
The freedom of Gitmo prisoners waits.
No trial, no charges, the injustice quite large,
There are a lot of grievances with which to charge,
Torture and violence are only a small part,
Will 2016 serve a dishonorable discharge?
Campaigning on promises meant to be broken,
The “first black President” is only a token,
To coat the citizens’ eyes with white paint,
And subdue their anger, keeping them soft-spoken.
It’s been twelve years so you think it may have worked,
But never fear a people continually jerked,
Their government, their system, filled to the brim with lies,
We are angry and outspoken and perpetually irked.
Enough is enough, tell the truth for once,
We are sick and tired of your imperialist stunts,
Close the prison at Guantanamo Bay,
Do it right now, not in six to twelve months.
We are disgusted with this empire that’s been built,
This country will crumble with all of its guilt,
You think you can outrun what history has taught,
But every empire eventually becomes unbuilt.
There is still time to make this one right decision,
You may scoff and laugh at our protests with derision,
But your term will be over in two short years,
Closing Guantanamo Bay should be in your vision.
Write your own letter this week or this month and tell the White House how you feel about this injustice, this gigantic waste of money, this horrible system we call the government of the United States and tell President Obama to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay.