Stop Torture

The Harvard Anti-Torture Coalition

Four Years Later, Still No Justice for Abu Ghraib

Posted by stoptorture on April 28th, 2008

Today marks four years since the public release of the Abu Ghraib photos. New photos keep emering, and despite a mountain of evidence, not one major leader in the chain of command has been brought to justice for torture.

 

Posted in Human Rights, International Law, Torture, U.S. Law | 29 Comments »

Supreme Court Allows Prisoners to Die Painfully

Posted by stoptorture on April 16th, 2008

All life is sacred!The Supreme Court chose to OK lethal injections again. In reaction, Kentucky, Montana, Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Florida got excited about killing people again.

Meanwhile, Bush tells the Pope that Americans “need your message that all life is sacred.”

From Justice Stevens’s concurring opinion in the case (citations omitted): “Because it masks any outward sign of distress, pancuronium bromide creates a risk that the inmate will suffer excruciating pain before death occurs. There is a general understanding among veterinarians that the risk of pain is sufficiently serious that the use of the drug should be proscribed when an animal’s life is being terminated. As a result of this understanding among knowledgeable professionals, several States–including Kentucky–have enacted legislation prohibiting use of the drug in animal euthanasia. It is unseemly–to say the least–that Kentucky may well kill petitioners using a drug that it would not permit to be used on their pets.”

Posted in Human Rights, International Law, Torture, U.S. Law | 356 Comments »

Bush Admits Condoning Torture

Posted by stoptorture on April 13th, 2008

ABC News reports that Bush knew that Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Powell, and Tenet met and authorized the use of specific torture techniques on particular prisoners.  This astounding admission has gotten little attention in the media so far, which is remarkable given it is seemingly conclusive evidence of Bush’s liability for torture and war crimes, all impeachable offenses.

Highlights from ABC News:

“Well, we started to connect the dots in order to protect the American people.” Bush told ABC News White House correspondent Martha Raddatz. “And yes, I’m aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved.”

As first reported by ABC News Wednesday, the most senior Bush administration officials repeatedly discussed and approved specific details of exactly how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the CIA.

The high-level discussions about these “enhanced interrogation techniques” were so detailed, these sources said, some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed — down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic.

These top advisers signed off on how the CIA would interrogate top al Qaeda suspects — whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding, sources told ABC news.

Posted in Human Rights, International Law, Torture, U.S. Law | 200 Comments »

High Crimes and Misdemeanors: Cheney et al. directly authorized torture

Posted by stoptorture on April 10th, 2008

ABC News reports that the “Principals Committee,” consisting of Dick Cheney, Condelezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, George Tenet, and Colin Powell, met in the White House routinely to directly authorize torture techniques to be used on specific detainees, including combinations involving water torture (waterboarding), sleep deprivation, and other methods. This opens them all up for criminal liability under the War Crimes Act and the federal torture statute.

Mr. Bush, where is your signature on all of this? I suppose we will only see that later. Impeachment anyone?

Highlights from the report:

  • “According to multiple sources, it was members of the Principals Committee that not only discussed specific plans and specific interrogation methods, but approved them.”
  • The Jay Bybee Torture Memo (Aug. 2002) was referred to as the Golden Shield in the CIA.
  • Ashcroft (who apparently agreed with the policy and thought it legal) did not, however, want to get into the dirty details and said : Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly.
  • Rice (who led the advisor’s group and was reportedly “decisive” on this) pushed the CIA to go torture:This is your baby. Go do it.

And, just for the record, because we think this will be important one day:

Rice’s top legal advisor at the time was none other than our illustrious alum, John B. Bellinger III HLS ’86. This is the same guy who followed her to the White House when she became Sec. of State. This is the same guy who wants us to think of him as a knight for human rights in the wilderness of this administration.

The time has come for accountability.

Posted in Human Rights, International Law, Torture, U.S. Law | 45 Comments »

URGENT: Call on Congress to Override the Bush Veto

Posted by stoptorture on March 10th, 2008

An urgent appeal from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture:

TORTURE IS A MORAL ISSUE

 

Dear Friends:

On Saturday, March 8, President Bush vetoed H.R. 2082, an important piece of anti-torture legislation that would have banned the use of waterboarding, stress positions, induced hypothermia, and other so-called “harsh” interrogation techniques by requiring all U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA, to abide by the restrictions in the Army Field Manual while conducting interrogations. H.R. 2082 was passed by a majority of both houses of Congress.

Sometime this week, possibly as soon as tomorrow, the U.S. House will vote on whether or not to override the President’s veto. It is very difficult to override a veto (it requires a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress), so the attempt to override may not be successful. That said, we want to make every effort to convince as many Members of Congress as possible to vote for the override.

Please call your Representative in Congress and urge him or her to vote to override the President’s veto of H.R. 2082, the Intelligence Authorization bill. To contact your Member of Congress you can call the Capitol switchboard at (202)224-3121 and ask to speak with your Representative.

Thank you for your efforts to end U.S.-sponsored torture.

Sincerely,

Linda Gustitus, President, NRCAT
Richard Killmer, Executive Director, NRCAT

Posted in Activism, Human Rights, International Law, Torture, U.S. Law | 47 Comments »

URGENT: Tell the White House to Sign the Anti-Torture Bill

Posted by stoptorture on February 15th, 2008

***Call the White House at 202-456-1111, or email the President at comments@whitehouse.gov to express your support for H.R. 2082 (the Intelligence Authorization bill).***

 

***The law (H.R. 2082) would prohibit the CIA from using techniques not authorized in the Army Field Manual, which also specifically bans many torture techniques, including waterboarding, stress positions, use of dogs, and others.***

 

A message from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture:

TORTURE IS A MORAL ISSUE

 
To Supporters of the National Religious Campaign Against TortureDear Friends:

We have good news. Earlier this week, on a 51-46 vote, the Senate passed important anti-torture legislation that would prohibit all U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA, from engaging in torture or other so-called “harsh” interrogation techniques. This bill has already passed the House of Representatives and now it only needs the President’s signature to become law.

This is an enormous victory, and it is in part due to your efforts and the efforts of NRCAT. By emailing and calling your Senators, you made it clear to them that the American people expect Congress to take a clear stand against torture.

Unfortunately, however, the President has already said that he plans to veto the bill rather than sign it into law. If he does so, he will repudiate the will of both houses of Congress and of the American people. Worse, he will keep us an immoral and destructive path.

We ask you to call the White House at 202-456-1111, or to email the President at comments@whitehouse.gov to express your support for H.R. 2082 (the Intelligence Authorization bill). Tell the President that we cannot win the war on terror by abandoning the values that made us great, and that he can help return us to those values by signing H.R. 2082.

Sincerely,

Linda Gustitus, President, NRCAT
Richard Killmer, Executive Director, NRCAT

 

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Posted in Activism, Human Rights, Torture, U.S. Law | 51 Comments »

URGENT advocacy initiative from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture

Posted by stoptorture on February 12th, 2008

A message from the National Religious Campaign against Torture:

TORTURE IS A MORAL ISSUE

 

Dear Friends:

An important vote is going to take place tomorrow, Wednesday, February 13.

The Senate will decide whether we stop the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” — or as we would call them, torture. Section 327 of the Intelligence Authorization Conference Report (H.R. 2082), would prohibit the CIA from using abusive interrogation techniques (such as waterboarding) by requiring the CIA to comply with the Army Field Manual while conducting interrogations. The Army Field Manual prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

Please call your Senators now — and urge them to support Section 327 of the Intelligence Authorization conference report. Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senators’ offices. You can also go to the NRCAT website (www.tortureisamoralissue.org) and click on the link in the upper right red box. It will take you to a page that makes it easy to email your Senators.

This is the most important anti-torture legislation now before Congress with a real chance of passage. (The House has already passed this bill.) Every phone call counts.

Thank you for all that you do to end U.S.-sponsored torture.

Sincerely,

Linda Gustitus, NRCAT President
Richard Killmer, Executive Director

Posted in Human Rights, International Law, Torture, U.S. Law | 13 Comments »