Weekly Torture Action Letter 14 – CIA IG Report

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Happy Monday and welcome all to the Dog’s ongoing letter writing campaign. The basic idea it to write to decision and opinion makers every Monday to keep the issue of accountability for torture through respect for the rule of law alive and in front of the busy people who run our country. For those who are stopping by for the first time, it works like this, the Dog writes a letter and provides the links. You can either cut and paste the letter or use it as inspiration for your own. The big deal is to get as many people as possible sending letters (or e-mails) on a consistent basis. To the Dog this provides a low level but constant reminder this issue is out important to the people of this nation.

Originally posted at Squarestate.net

This week we are writing to the President with carbon copies to the AG, Speaker Pelosi, House Judiciary Chair Conyers, Senate Majority Leader Reid and Senate Judiciary Chair Leahy.


Dear Mr. President;

I write you today to urge you to courage on the issue of torture accountability. As this is a big issue, I will be specific in what I am asking you to stand tall for at the moment. The 2004 CIA Inspector General report on the so-called “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”  was scheduled to, by your administration, be released last Friday. This did not happen and it is where I, as a supporter of your campaign and presidency, am asking you to exercise courage.

I choose the word courage very carefully here. I do not doubt you are a man who has stood up to challenges in your life, I know you have. It is the new position you occupy and the massive amount of advice you get from people who were part of the previous administration which I believe are encouraging you to not act to make public the facts of our shameful recent past. Mr. President I understand you have stated that you would rather look forward than back. I also understand you either believe or are being told that this issue if allowed to be public will restrain your ability to enact your ambitious and needed public agenda. While I understand these issues, I can not, as a citizen, accept the outcome they lead to.

Mr. President, we deserve to know what was done in our names. There have been indications from other declassified and released documents that the guidelines from Office of Legal Council memo were exceeded in a most egregious fashion. There have also been leaks that this report recommended that eight deaths of detainees being questioned were forwarded to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation. At this time there have been no investigations of these deaths.

You have done great work in starting to repair our relationship with the Muslim world. I know there are concerns that if this type of information comes out this tentative rapprochement will be damaged. This may be true, as far as it goes, but as long as the rumors of our previous actions are unresolved, those who would doubt your intentions have a rallying cause. In the long run it is much better for the United States to show what we have done, and where it is deemed illegal to take action against those who ordered it and those who carried it out.

As a member of the Illinois Bar you had a responsibility to the law. As President you have a great responsibility to the Constitution and the people of the nation as a whole. It is the oath you took to defend the Constitution which I remind you of today. Without the equal and fair application of the law, where evidence is available as it is in the case of the apparent State Sponsored Torture program of the Bush Administration, the need for investigation and prosecution is the same as defending the Constitution. This is your primary job as President. At this point the best way to do this it to release in as full a manner as possible the CIA Inspector Generals report.

Mr. President, I urge you to the courage of your convictions, let the light of day shine on our actions. From there we as a people can better know what to do going forward.

Thank you for your consideration of this issue.

Sincerely,

There is the letter, now for the links:

The White House, Attention President Obama

Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Majority Leader Harry Reid

Department of Justice, attention AG Holder – AskDOJ@usdoj.gov

Rep John Conyers – Judiciary Committee Chair

Chairman Leahy

Now it is up to you Citizens. Can the Dog count on you to take the ten minutes or so it will take? You will, at the very least, be able to say this week you acted for accountability for torture and stood up for the rule of law.

The floor is yours.  

3 comments

  1. Every little bit helps, you never know when we will reach a tipping point.  

    • sharon on June 23, 2009 at 1:42 am

    i read the executive summary of the levin report last night and learned that it concluded:

    Conclusion 1: On February 7, 2002 President George W. Bush made a written determination that the Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum standards for humane treatment, did not apply to al Qaeda or Taliban detainees.  Following the President’s determination, tecnhinques sucha s waterboarding, nudity, and stress positions, used in SERE training to simulate tactics used by enemies that refuse to follow the Geneva Convenions were authroized fo sue in interrogations of detainees in U.S. custody.

    Conclusion 8: Detainee abuse occurred…in Iraq in September 2003….The special Mission Unit Task Force Commander’s failure to order that SERE resistance training techniques not be used in detainee interrogations was a serious failure in leadership that led to the abuse of detainees in Task Force custody.  Iraq is a Geneva Convention theater and techniqus used in SERE school are inconsistent with the obligations of U.S. personnel under the Geneva Conventions.

    Conclusion 13: SoD Donald Rumsfeld’s authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques for use at Guantanamo Bay was a direct cause of detainee abuse there. Secretary Rumsfeld’s December 2, 2002 approval of Mr. [William “Jim”] Hayne’s recommendation that most of the techniques contained GTMO’s October 11, 2002 request be authorized, influenced and contributed to the use of abusive techniques, including military working dogs, forced nudity, and stress positions, in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    There is more and so far I have only read the executive summary.  Obama must also have read this report.  How then can he choose to ignore it?

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