Justice and Accountability: Why I Want to Go to NN 09

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

A Little Bit About Chacounne

My name is Heather and my mission is to stop torture as the law, policy and practice of the United States, and to have those responsible held legally accountable. That mission is in the name and memory of my husband, Dan, who was a US Vietnam vet who survived torture. Dan suffered from his injuries for over thirty years, until his fatal heart attack almost four years ago.

Going to Netroots Nation will help me with my mission. You can help make that happen.

If you’d like to help, please read the highlights of my application for a Netroots Scholarship below and consider signing up to support my application.


            With gratitude,


               For Dan,


Name: Chacounne

My personal volunteering highlight:

On June 12th, 2008, the three year anniversary of my husband’s fatal heart attack, General Colin Powell came to speak in my community. I was determined to let ask him a question, face to face, on my husband’s behalf. I talked my way into a small press conference he was going to be holding and ended up being the first question. I asked him why hadn’t he, and would he now tell the Congress, the American people, and the world, what he knew to be true, that waterboarding is torture, that sleep deprivation is torture, and that sensory deprivation is torture. His answer went on for several minutes like someone trying to talk his was out of something he’d been caught doing wrong.

More about my work on current campaigns and issues:

I am in the midst of bringing together the people and organizations necessary for a March for Accountability. I think it’s very important to show those in Washington how many of us will not settle for anything less than legal accountability for those involved in torture.

What motivates me:

Almost four years after my husband’s heart attack, I still wake up with his screams in my ears, not as often as it used to be but still there. Every day I see, in my mind’s eye, Dan laying bloodied and bruised and incoherent with exhaustion and starved from lack of food; then I see the detainees, the renditioned and the disappeared. I couldn’t save Dan, but I can help save those men and boys and women and children. I will keep speaking up as long as there is breath in my body.

How I try to motivate others:

By telling Dan’s story, and the stories of the detainees, the renditioned and the disappeared. By assuring them that we CAN make a difference. That the only way accountability won’t happen is if we don’t do our jobs by letting those in power in Washington know that we will not settle for anything less. We WILL win, because we MUST.

Where I see myself in five years:

Five years from now, I hope we will be much further along the road to accountability. I hope that investigations will have been done and trials will have at least started. If that is so, then I will broaden my advocacy to educate North Americans about torture around the world. If it has not happened, I will have broadened my outreach to connect with more individuals and groups to bring my message to those who can actually change the policy or initiate the investigations. I am in this for the long haul.

Participation in the blogosphere is important because

I think the conversation is important. We each have a piece of the puzzle that will make our world stronger, better, more compassionate, conversation helps us to knit those pieces together. It also reminds us that we are all part of the same family, the human family.

Why I Deserve a Scholarship to Attend :

Some of the things I have done in support of my mission are: I have traveled, at my own expense, to Washington, DC, to lobby Senators and Congressional Representatives. I have spoken to students at Harvard Law School, with more speeches in other parts of the country to come. Recently, I did my first radio interview about my mission, with more to come. I blog frequently about the issue at Daily Kos, Firedoglake, and other blogs, including a series dedicated to giving as first hand account as possible of what the detainees, the renditioned and the disappeared have been through/are going through, from their point of view.

I am in the midst of planning a March for Accountability, to show those in power in Washington that there are, many, many of us who won’t settle for anything less than legal accountability.

As a full time student with multiple disabilities, I don’t have the money to do all that I could do in support of my mission if I had a little financial help. Being at Netroots Nation would help me connect with anti-torture activists from all over the continent, and it would help me to bring together more people in support of justice and accountability.

With gratitude,

Standing for justice and accountability,

For Dan,




Skip to comment form

    • Edger on June 4, 2009 at 12:21 am
    • zett on June 4, 2009 at 12:25 am
  1. Just beware.

  2. I was going to register here as the Other Heather but I didn’t know if anyone would know what I was talking about.

    Supported with all my heart.

    • Robyn on June 4, 2009 at 3:49 am

    Good luck!

  3. For the way you`ve served, you most definitely deserve..

    I went over to the link & offered my support there.

    I don`t access my login very often, but have been there since the early time, &  joined then, to be able to support people such as yourself, the tireless, & often, beyond visible, heroes.

    See, you may not even know me,(who cares) but I know you.

    Thanks for all you do.

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