Sunday, May 17, 2009

In the last few days ex-Vice President Dick Cheney has been on the circuit, trying to claim that the past use of torture by US government agencies was fully justified. Here is a statement from the Human Rights First group questioning this assertion, and asking that the use of torture be fully investigated and totally repudiated.
The torture testimony that Cheney is trying to drown out:‏

The debate on torture must not be led by Former Vice President Cheney’s press tour
Fight back: Demand the truth about torture, not more spin.
Urge President Obama to set up a nonpartisan inquiry on torture today!:
In the wake of several investigations into the Bush administration's use of torture, and despite expert evidence to the contrary, Former Vice President Cheney has been all over the press saying that torture actually worked.

Why is he suddenly making such a loud case for torture? His side of the debate is trying to drown out new evidence that torture actually weakened American security.

The scary thing is, even today, as we heard new testimony from seasoned FBI interrogator Ali Soufan showing why torture does not work and how the Bush administration's insistence on using these techniques actually hurt our intelligence gathering – much of the public is only hearing Cheney's side of the debate.

So today we need your help to push back. Urge President Obama to set up a nonpartisan inquiry on torture to evaluate the full cost of abuses, look at how we got there, and come up with safeguards so we don't repeat the same mistakes.

Your action isn't just critical to making sure we inform the public – even some Senators aren't listening to the evidence of experts. In a Senate hearing today, FBI interrogator Ali Soufan clearly laid out in his testimony that "harsh interrogation methods are harmful, shameful, slower, unreliable, ineffective, and play directly into the enemy's handbook."

Senator Lindsey Graham — who has zero interrogation experience or expertise — actually responded, "One of the reasons these techniques have survived for about 500 years is apparently they work." (Torture is only 500 years old ??????. I think the good senator refers to "dunking", but I am not too sure. Maybe it is to throwing so-called witches into water to see if they float.-Molly)

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Even before today's testimony, Human Rights First has worked with dozens of experienced interrogators and retired generals and admirals who firmly stand against torture, as an inhumane – and ineffective – technique.

The reality is that there is no debate, and this false back and forth about torture's effectiveness is keeping us from moving forward. Help us increase the pressure – support a nonpartisan inquiry to get to the truth and make sure we never make the same mistake again!
Sharon Kelly
Human Rights First
Plrase go to THIS LINK to send the following petition to the Obama Administration.
We call on the President of the United States to establish an independent, non-partisan commission to examine and report publicly on torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of detainees in the period since September 11, 2001. The commission, comparable in stature to the 9/11 Commission, should look into the facts and circumstances of such abuses, report on lessons learned, and recommend measures that would prevent any future abuses. We believe that the commission is necessary to reaffirm America's commitment to the Constitution, international treaty obligations, and human rights. The report issued by the commission will strengthen U.S. national security and help to re-establish America's standing in the world.
Signed by:
[Your name]
[Your address]

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