Yesterday, a coalition of US and international musicians, including Trent Reznor, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Jackson Browne, Rise Against, Rosanne Cash, Billy Bragg and the Roots announced they were joining the National Campaign to Close Guantanamo, of which VoteVets.org is a part.
The musicians called for the close of the detention facility at Guantanamo, and issued a Freedom of Information Act request to find out how their own music was used in conjunction with torture.
Almost immediately, Liz Cheney and her neocon group "Keep America Safe" responded by calling the efforts "pathetic" and "laughable."
No, what's laughable is that Liz Cheney and her cronies think they can lecture a group that includes veterans on the harm that Gitmo has done to our troops and our own security. What's pathetic is that by lobbying to keep Gitmo open, Liz Cheney's group is helping keep alive one of the greatest recruiting posters that al Qaeda ever had, yet they dare call themselves "Keep America Safe." They might as well call it "Keep al Qaeda Recruiting."
In response to Cheney, Matthew Alexander, a former senior interrogator, said, "Guantanamo Bay remains an effective recruiting tool for Al Qaida to this day. The longer it remains open, the longer we'll fail to do all we can to protect ourselves from terrorist attacks. It is the epitome of everything we could have done wrong in the fight against Islamic extremism -- unlawful detentions without charge and torture and abuse. We can only defeat ourselves in this battle, and Guantanamo Bay was, and remains, a big step in that direction."
Hmmm... Liz Cheney who never performed an interrogation in her life, or a guy who did it for a living? Who has the cred here?
Matthew's position was echoed before, by VoteVets.org's Jay Bagwell, a former counterintelligence agent in Afghanistan. Bagwell, in a video recorded previously for VoteVets.org, "Torture makes our troops less safe. Torture creates terrorists. It's used so widely as a propaganda tool, now. In Afghanistan, all too often detainees had pamphlets on them depicting what happened at Guantanamo."
This one is tough. Liz Cheney or a guy who dealt with detainees in Afghanistan? Who do you trust more on what makes them tick?
The fact of the matter is that Guantanamo hurts our troops and makes America less safe. It has created enemies, some of whom surely went on to harm or kill American troops. It's time to stand up to the Cheneys, and close Guantanamo. You can help. Join Matthew, Jay, and the veterans at VoteVets.org by signing our petition to Congress, here.