Proposed Democratic Party Platform 2020 Pledges to Close the Guantanamo Bay Prison

The proposed Democratic Party Platform 2020 that was released on Monday, 3 August 2020, calls for the closure of Guantanamo, in firm and certain terms: “We will close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay”. (page 82) The full 92-page Platform can be downloaded below.

This carries on the pledge made by Presidential candidate Barack Obama before he was elected in 2008, and his efforts to close Guantanamo after his inauguration on 20 January 2009 until he left office 8 years later.

The Guantanamo reference appears in a section of the Platform titled “Terrorism” (pages 81-82).


So long as violent extremists continue to plot attacks on our homeland and our interests, Democrats will maintain a vigilant focus on counterterrorism.

Democrats recognize that the threat landscape has evolved dramatically since September 11. Our counterterrorism priorities, strategies, footprint, and tools should shift accordingly, including to respond to the growing threat from white supremacist and other right-wing terrorist groups.

Democrats will sustain the global effort to defeat ISIS, al-Qaeda, and their affiliates. We will ensure that the world is equally committed to the difficult task that follows military success: dealing with the underlying conditions that allowed violent extremism to flourish in the first place. We will work with our partners to prioritize diplomatic, law enforcement, and intelligence tools, to reinforce our objectives instead of distorting them.

Democrats believe that our rhetoric, policies, and tactics—and those of our counterterrorism partners—should never serve as terrorist recruiting tools. We will always work to avoid civilian casualties, and we will not weaponize counterterrorism for anti-immigrant purposes. We will reject the targeting of Muslim, Arab, and other racial and ethnic communities based on their faith and backgrounds at home and abroad. We will close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, enhance transparency, oversight, and accountability in counterterrorism programs and operations, and safeguard civil liberties and the rule of law.

Delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention will vote on the Platform remotely, from 3 – 15 August 2020, with all votes due to be cast before commencement of the Convention, which is scheduled for 17 – 20 August 2020.

Download the 92-page Democratic Party Platform 2020 here:

George Edwards

Professor of Law

Indiana University McKinney School of Law

Director (Founding), Program in International Human Rights Law & Military Commissions Monitoring Project.

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