True Majority & – 2005-12-08 08:51:32
End US Torture:
Ban “Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading” Behavior?
Darcy Scott Martin / TrueMajority
(December 7, 2005) — More than 5,200 TrueMajority members called Congress yesterday about the Iraq War, along with tens of thousands of other Americans.
Ever since Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) amendment outlawing torture passed the Senate by an overwhelming margin, the Bush administration has been pulling out all the stops to prevent it from becoming law. Dick Cheney has repeatedly visited Capitol Hill trying to water it down, insisting that at least some government agents should be authorized to torture people. Now the struggle is coming to a head.
More than 23,000 TrueMajority members sent messages opposing U.S. torture, noted military leaders spoke out against it, and a majority of Americans say they disapprove of torturing enemy combatants and terror detainees.1 With all that against them, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and other leaders have decided that the only way to kill the torture ban is to smother it quietly, out of sight in a conference committee.
DON’T LET THEM. TELL YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE TO DEMAND THAT THE TORTURE BAN BE INCLUDED IN THE HOUSE BILL.
If you’re a member, just click “REPLY” and “SEND” to send your representative a letter (see message below). If you aren’t a member of TrueMajority or would like to edit the message, click here to take action:
Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), who recently called for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, wants to bring the torture issue out of the committee room and into the light of day. Murtha wants to hold a vote in the entire House of Representatives on the torture ban, forcing lawmakers to face the issue head-on.
His move is called a “motion to instruct the conferees” — it sounds like parliamentary jargon, but the idea is simple: the entire House of Representatives will send an instruction to the legislators holed up in that committee room that they should keep Senator McCain’s anti-torture amendment.
Representative Murtha’s motion to stop torture deserves an up-or-down vote. We send our representatives to Congress so their – and our – voices can be heard.
TELL YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE TO SUPPORT REP. MURTHA’S MOTION TO KEEP THE BAN ON TORTURE.
Here’s the message we’ll send to your Congressional representative:
Dear (your rep’s name),
America’s principles of decency and rule of law have always been an example for the world. Senator McCain’s amendment making clear that Americans do not torture people is not only smart policy, it’s also the right thing to do.
Please support Rep. John Murtha’s (D-PA) “motion to instruct the conferees” to include Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) language outlawing torture in the defense bill.
I urge you to act to stop torture and restore America’s international reputation for honor.
(we’ll put your name here)
TrueMajority.org is a grassroots group which envisions a nation where people care about their fellow citizens, and together enjoy freedom and broad prosperity. We believe participating in an effective government is the best way to be mutually responsible for our community. TrueMajority.org, 191 Bank Street, Third Floor, Burlington, VT 05401.
End Torture Committed in America’s Name
Human Rights First
Two months ago, the Senate voted 90-9 to prohibit torture by any branch of our government, including the CIA. (The 9 pro-torture Republicans are Wayne Allard (CO*), Kit Bond (MO), Tom Coburn (OK), Thad Cochran (MS*), John Cornyn (TX), James Inhofe (OK*), Pat Roberts (KS*), Jeff Sessions (AL*), Ted Stevens (AK*) – those with * are up in 2008, the others in 2010.)
Now the House must vote. Dick Cheney is pushing House Republicans to carve loopholes into the Senate torture ban.
When his North Vietnamese captors tortured him, demanding that he identify his flight squadron, Sen. John McCain gave them names. He listed off the offensive line for the Green Bay Packers.
In the movies, torture techniques often work to save the day. But in real life resorting to torture usually produces unreliable information, puts American soldiers at greater risk if they are captured, and undermines our nation’s moral authority.
That is why Senator McCain has proposed an enormously important ban on torture of detainees in U.S. custody. The amendment has (so far) survived fierce White House opposition – but now its fate has come down to one enormously important House vote taking place as early as TONIGHT!
There is no time to lose. Take one minute right now to click here and ask your Representatives to vote YES on McCain’s torture ban.
Even now, after horrifying images from Abu Ghraib shocked the world, we still have the same problem – with new documents and testimony showing that it’s more widespread than we could ever suspect.
Twenty-seven detainees were killed in U.S. custody – at least seven of whom were literally tortured to death. But the White House is still asking Congress to allow U.S. agencies to engage in torture.
The anti-torture provision won a stunning 90-9 majority in the Senate, but we must repeat the results in the House. Then the world will know that America is unequivocally against torture. That is the message we need to send to the House-Senate negotiators, who are haggling over the ban on torture as I write this.
You can make a huge difference by writing your representatives today.
When official policies result in torture in America’s name, we have a moral obligation to take action.
Every voice matters, so please pass this on to friends, family, and coworkers!
Jill Savitt, Director of Campaigns, Rights First, 333 Seventh Avenue, 13th Floor, York, NY 10001-5004