President Barack Obama,
I would like to thank you, and of course that anonymous staffer, for your letter dated 17 December 2013. I am very glad that you appreciate the many Americans who have contacted you and their various perspectives about the military prison on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.
It is a very well written letter. Please congratulate the anonymous staffer for me. I foresee a future for her/him in other political campaigns. in time, I am sure that this staffer will be nominated to high office or may even run for elected office in their own right.
As well written as the letter is, it fails to address the fundamental issue I have with the prison on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.
You promised to close this prison 5 years ago. This prison still has men held prisoner in it.
I have not heard that the Congress or the People of the United States have stripped you of your authority to issue pardons.
If you wanted to, you could issue pardons for these men held prisoner by our government.
I have not heard that the Central Intelligence Agency has closed all its offices abroad.
If you wanted to, you could order the CIA to un-kidnap ( or un-render if you prefer ) these men to where ever they happened to be 10-12 years ago when we kidnapped ( rendered ) them.
The CIA operation of unlisted airline flights is still in operation – the CIA had no problem smuggling the fugitive Robert Seldon Lady back into the United States.
The simple fact is that you really don’t want to close the military prison on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base to such an extent as to politically inconvenience yourself. It would be nice to close the prison down. But it is just too much work. You’ve appointed all the wrong sorts of people to oversee our Intelligence and Military services, who might otherwise have been your allies in closing the Guantanamo prison. These re-tread Bush and Clinton appointees are only out for themselves and their future appointments ( in a Republican administration ) and/or book deals. And the rank and file are just trying to keep their heads down and not be noticed.
If you ever did the things I suggest, leaks would appear from everywhere. Even among the Democratic members of Congress there would be massive leaks, let alone the Republicans. And in the Intelligence services themselves, well, they already leaked that information to Seymour Hersh with his latest reporting about Syria.
You have forgotten the reason, We the People, have given you that Executive pardon power. Not the power to imprison – the power to release. Not the power to punish – but the power to set free, and not just set free, but to expunge the record, to nullify all past court verdicts. You in your position as President, embody the Mercy of the American People as expressed by the government of our United States.
For quite some time now – there has been damn little mercy shown by the government of our United States.
These men have suffered enough. Please let them go.
You could do it today.