Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Demand Accountability for Torture!
Tell Attorney General Holder to Appoint an Independent Prosecutor

The week before last, the Justice Department released four secret memos written by the Office of Legal Counsel under the Bush administration. The memos authorized and documented waterboarding, in addition to other illegal "enhanced interrogation techniques." Among other things, they revealed that individuals suspected of terrorism were waterboarded as many as 183 times in a single month. Watch LinkTV's new video explaining the severity of torture committed under the Bush Administration.

The Department of Justice has withdrawn the memos and says they no longer represent its legal views, but President Obama initially indicated that government officials responsible for torture would not face prosecution. The New York Times reported here that the Obama administration also opposes the establishment of an independent commission, or even an inquiry into torture policies. Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder reiterated that the Justice Department would not prosecute those who participated in torture if they acted in "good faith," while telling the press that the Obama administration would "follow the evidence wherever it takes us."

These halting steps toward accountability fall far short of restoring the Rule of Law to the United States. Government officials who authorized torture may have violated several constitutional provisions in the Bill of Rights, including the Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments; U.S. statutes such as the War Crimes Act and Uniform Code of Military Justice; and international treaties including the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture.

If government officials were personally involved in authorizing such grave violations, they must face appropriate consequences. The Obama administration wants to look forward instead of focusing on the past. But to move forward, we must first look back, investigate human rights violations, and ensure justice to restore America's credibility at home and abroad. No one is above the law.

Based on the available evidence, Attorney General Holder should now appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate who authorized and carried out the U.S. government's torture policies. If evidence emerges confirming criminal wrongdoing, the individuals responsible for it must face prosecution.

Contact AG Holder today and demand that he appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate-and if evidence warrants, prosecute-war crimes and constitutional violations committed by U.S. government officials responsible for torture.

Call the Office of the Attorney General at (202) 353-1555. Then email the Justice Department.

What else can you do?

* Write a letter to the editor or opinion-editorial for your local paper endorsing the appointment of an independent prosecutor.
* Meet locally with your members of Congress during their next recess, May 25-29.
* Ask the editorial board of your local paper to write an editorial supporting a torture inquiry by an independent prosecutor.

Use our talking points to help you. If you pursue any of these initiatives, please email info@bordc.org to let us know.

Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Address: 8 Bridge Street, Suite A, Northampton, MA 01060
Web: here

Email: info@bordc.org
Telephone: 413-582-0110
Fax: 413-582-0116


Connie L. Nash said...

To find COMMENTS to this piece at Wash Post, CLICK href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/27/AR2009042702693_Comments.html

Also find them at http://www/afterdowningstreet.org

Connie L. Nash said...

Find these below at http://www.commondreams.org

* Naomi Wolf:
Are We All Torturers in America?
Mike Davis:
Swine Flu Crisis Lays Bare the Meat Industry's Monstrous Power
* Jeff Biggers:
Obama's First 100 Days of Coal
Jeremy Scahill:
Obama's Iraq: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Dean Baker:
FTT: The Cost of Business on Wall Street
Stephen Zunes:
Ru Freeman:
Taliban: 60 Miles from Islamabad
Laura Flanders:
Fighting Swine (Geithner) Flu
Andy Worthington:
CIA Torture Began In Afghanistan 8 Months Before DOJ Approval

Monday April 27, 2009
Katrina vanden Heuvel & Greg Kaufmann:
Chasing Ghosts in Afghanistan

And More at commondreams dor org
Michael Winship:
Put Wealth on Trial
Scott Horton:
Broder for the Defense
Chris Hedges:
Obama Has Missed His Moment
Robert Naiman:
Reform US Foreign Policy by Passing EFCA
Judith Blau:
Human Rights is a Local Issue
Michelle Chen:
E-waste: America's Electronics Feed the Global Digital Dump
Paul Krugman:
Money For Nothing
Glenn Greenwald:
David Broder and Media Culpability for Bush Crimes
John Nichols:
GOP Know-Nothings Fought Pandemic Preparedness
Danny Schechter:
Stress Testing Obama
Nick Turse:
A Tsunami of Hunger
Russell Mokhiber:
How Corrupt Is That?

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