Washington, DC (Vocus) July 22, 2009
Kirk S. Lippold, former USS Cole Commander and Senior Military Fellow at Military Families United, released the following statement concerning the six month delay of the Guantanamo Review Task Force. This Department of Justice-lead Task Force was supposed to outline specific recommendations on the future of the GITMO detainees. The Executive Order signed by President Obama on January 21, 2009, established the deadline for a Department of Justice review of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay at July 21, 2009.
“Justice delayed is justice denied... again. While the President hopefully now comprehends the far-reaching complexities of closing GITMO, he continues to be unwilling to reconsider the shortsighted and naïve decision to close the detention facility. It was easy to make a campaign promise to close the facility, but the realities of governing have made this campaign promise unrealistic, dangerous and contrary to the national security interests of this nation. The President promised the families of the victims of terrorism swift and certain justice six months ago and now they are forced to wait again. Despite having the resources of the entire U.S. Government at his disposal, President Obama delayed the the GITMO findings by six months; thereby, failing again to chart a course to justice for the victims of terrorism.
Despite the lack of any defined policy or clear plan for how to safely deal with GITMO detainees, and widespread acknowledgment that GITMO is an effective detention and intelligence facility, the Administration still defiantly insists that it will close at their arbitrary, self-imposed deadline. This delay is the clearest example to date of how this Administration lacks the comprehensive experience and wherewithal to effectively handle this critical national security issue.
The American people and especially the victims of terrorist attacks deserve to know specifically what this Administration plans to do with the detainees at GITMO and others captured in the war on terror. The country must now insist this President explain why he has failed to provide both justice and answers to a nation that continues to pay the ultimate price in defense of our freedom. “
CDR Kirk S. Lippold, USN (Ret.) was the Commanding Officer of USS Cole when it was attacked by al Qaeda terrorists in October 2000. CDR Lippold, who served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff crafting detainee policy in the initial stages of the war on terror, met with the President in February and with DoJ in June to discuss the closure of Guantanamo Bay.
*Note – To schedule an interview with Commander Kirk Lippold please contact Meghan@MilitaryFamiliesUnited.org or (202) 510 – 5304.
About Military Families United
Military Families United (MFU) serves as the nation’s leading military family advocacy organization, representing the interests and values of those who sacrifice for our security and our freedom: America’s troops and their families. MFU gives America’s military families a voice in the national conversation on military, national security and other public policy issues through our outreach to media, government, and the general public. We seek to communicate the truth about our brave men and women in uniform and their mission to protect our freedom. For more information about MFU visit http://www.MilitaryFamiliesUnited.org