November 21st, 2008
Dear President-Elect Barack Obama,
We offer you, Michelle, Malia, and Sasha our sincerest congratulations as our new first family. Our hopes and aspirations are with you.
We are members of Pax Christi-Madison and Call to Actions-Madison, Wisconsin. Our organizations are advocates for peace, justice, accountability, and equality within the Roman Catholic Church and beyond. We especially seek non-violent means to end wars and other grievances. We are encouraged by your decision to close down Guantanamo detention camps in Cuba, to finally put an end to that grave injustice.
Our petition to you is to close down the infamous SOA in Ft. Benning, Ga. (now known as WHINSEC). The atrocities committed by graduates of this school here in our own country are well documented. Vigils and protests have been held at Ft. Benning and beyond since 1990. Clergy and religious from all denominations have been especially active in efforts to close down this school. More recent vigils have exceeded 20,000 individuals. We here in the Catholic diocese of Madison take no comfort that our own Bishop Robert Morlino chairs the Board of Visitors of that school. There has been a special gathering with our bishop and concerned people, some of whom gave first hand accounts of the violence these graduates have inflicted on their own people. We have become outraged that our own bishop would lend any credibility to WHINSEC.
We the undersigned petition you and your competent advisors to finally close down this infamous school as you intend to close down Gitmo. Meanwhile we hold our own Vigil here in Madison to remember all those who have died needlessly in Central and South America.
Our prayers, hopes and aspirations are with you and all the peoples of the Americas.
For more information go to:
• School of the American Watch