ACLU Executive Director on Colbert Report: "This is an historic day!"
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ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero was downright exuberant on last night's Colbert Report. You could see it in the way he stood to greet Colbert, then interrupted him before the interview could even get going to exclaim, "I'm so happy! This is an historic day." Romero had good reason to be overjoyed.
Hours earlier, the Associated Press reported that President-elect Obama will issue an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison facility within his first week in office, possibly on his first day. By all accounts, this news is a major win for civil rights and the ACLU, which has spent the last few months calling on Obama to do just that.
Less than a week after Obama was elected, the ACLU launched its grassroots drive to Close Guantanamo and End Military Commissions. They took out a full-page ad in The New York Times, hosted a teleconference town hall meeting, and launched a series of videos produced by Brave New Foundation on everything from torture to the unconstitutional military commissions put in place by the Bush administration. The entire effort was geared toward urging the President-elect to make good on his campaign promise to shut down Gitmo -- all it would take, they said, would be one stroke from his new presidential pen.
ZP Heller is the editorial director of Brave New Films. He has written for The American Prospect, AlterNet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post, covering everything from politics to pop culture.