Weekly Torture Action Letter 21 – History and AG Holder.

Happy Monday and welcome to the Dog’s ongoing letter writing campaign for accountability to the rule of law for the apparent Bush Administration State Sponsored Torture program. For those playing our home game, the way this works is every Monday the Dog writes a letter to decision makers urging them to take action under our legal obligations, both Federal and International, to investigate and where evidence of criminality exists prosecute those who ordered, those who justified and those who carried out torture in the name of the United States of America. You get involved by either cut and pasting the letter to the links the Dog provides, or writing your own letter based on this weeks ideas.  

Originally posted at Squarestate.net

This week we will be writing to Attorney General Holder with copies to the President, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, House Judiciary Chairman Conyers, House Judiciary Member Nadler, and Senate Judiciary Chair Leahy.

Dear Attorney General Holder:

Sir, I have been writing you for several weeks now urging you to follow through with your obligations under US Law and International Treaty in regards to investigating the apparent White House authorized torture program of the Bush Administration.

General Holder, you are in a hard place, there is no doubt about that. There has never been an Administration or Attorney General in the history of our Republic who has had the duty to investigate the apparently criminal actions of the previous Administration. That the issue you are required to investigate is one dealing with national security and torture only makes the situation that much harder. It is, in fact, completely unfair that this burden falls on you. I recognize that completely. However, fairness is not the issue.

I should not have to remind you Mr. Attorney General; fairness is the core idea of the law. Justice must be applied evenly; else it is not actually justice. The practice of the Law is not an easy thing. It requires seven years of higher education and a very extensive exam to be admitted to its practice. This is all due the need for the Law to be practiced well in order for there to be justice. The pursuit of justice makes no allowances for what is hard or unpopular. Our system of justice requires those who practice the law, especially those who serve the public to follow the rule of law, no matter where it leads.

No matter what, General Holder, you will be remembered as a historic Attorney General. You will either be known as the AG who did the hard thing and stood for the Rule of Law regardless of the consequences, or you will be known as the AG who looked the other way on publicly known crimes of the previous Administration. There is no getting out of your historic role at this point. All that remains is which of these characterizations will be taught to future law students about your tenure as Attorney General.  

You know the right thing to do; you must appoint a Special Counsel to investigate all the actions of the Bush Administration in regards to prisoners in the so called “War on Terror”. The provision which empowers you to do this was created for just such situations; times where the DOJ was so deeply involved that it can not reasonably investigate itself. This is a hard thing; you will be reviled by those on the Right who think the rule of law is a fungible thing. However it is your required duty under our laws.

The choice is yours Mr. Attorney General, will you follow the rule of law, be known as the man who put Law above politics or will you grant your tacit approval to state sponsored torture and very nearly guarantee we will have to face this horrible abuse of law and power in the future?

Sincerely,

CC:

President Barack Obama

Speaker of the House Pelosi

Senate Majority Leader Reid

Judiciary Chair Conyers

Judiciary Chair Leahy

Representative Nadler

So there is the letter, here are the links. Just a couple of notes, first off you will have to paste the AG’s e-mail address directly into the address line of your e-mail program. Also Rep. Nadler, while a good and true ally in the fight for accountability seems to think it is appropriate to hide from the people of this nation who are not in his district. Just use the full zip code provided with the link to get past his filters. It is a real zip code from his district.

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

The White House, Attention President Obama

Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Majority Leader Harry Reid

Rep John Conyers – Judiciary Committee Chair

Chairman Leahy

Representative Jerry Nadler (use 11224-4561 to get past his zip code filter.)

Now it is all up to you. We are asking the AG to do a hard thing, help him to do the right thing by making it clear you expect him to follow the Rule of Law.

The floor is yours.

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  1. lets keep the heat on!  

    • Edger on August 24, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Former Top Interrogators Back Wide-Ranging Criminal Probe Into Torture

    by Jason Leopold, Aug 24, 2009

    Support for a wide-ranging criminal investigation into the Bush administration’s use of torture has grown to include a former top FBI interrogator and a career military intelligence officer with more than two decades of experience conducting interrogations.

    Jack Cloonan, a former FBI security and counterterrorism expert who was assigned to the agency’s elite Bin Laden Unit, Col. Steve Kleinman, a career military intelligence officer recognized as one of the Defense Department’s most effective interrogators, and Matthew Alexander,who was the senior interrogator for the task force in Iraq that tracked down al-Qaeda-in-Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 2006, said ignoring clear-cut evidence of interrogation-related crimes would encourage more law-breaking in the future. Alexander uses a pseudonym for security reasons.

    Cloonan and Kleinman, who conducted interrogations of terror suspects after 9/11, disputed claims by former CIA Director Michael Hayden and Republican lawmakers that a criminal investigation would damage intelligence gathering and could lead to another 9/11-type attack on the United States.

    In an interview, Cloonan and Kleinman said Hayden and the lawmakers were sounding “false alarms” in an effort to keep serious crimes from being exposed. “What this is really about is cover your ass,” Cloonan said. “To suggest [intelligence gathering] will come to a screeching halt if there were an investigation is not accurate.”

    Last Wednesday, nine Republican senators sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder saying a criminal investigation into the CIA’s interrogation practices would jeopardize the “security for all Americans, “chill future intelligence activities,” and could “leave us more vulnerable to attack.”

    A day later, at a panel discussion held at the National Press Club, Hayden said an investigation, “no matter how narrowly defined” will “start pulling threads.

    “Continuing looking back, continuing to pull these good people through a knothole will teach people never to play to the edge, will teach people ‘yeah I got an opinion from Justice and I know the president wants me to do it and the director [of the CIA] says it’s a good thing and I know I’m capable of doing it but I just don’t think so.’ We will teach timidity to a workforce we need to be vigorous and active. And no matter how narrowly defined this look back might be it’ll start pulling threads, you’ll have a significant number of agency folks being pulled through this process, in my mind, to no good,” he said.

    Cloonan and Kleinman said Hayden and the GOP senators were sounding “false alarms” in an effort to keep serious crimes from being exposed and prosecuted. Cloonan, who retired in 2002 after more than 25 years in the FBI, said neither he nor the intelligence community believes that an investigation into torture will result in a threat to national security.

    read the whole thing…

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