Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Help Hold Torturers Accountable

BTM has called for the arrest of the architects of the American torture program. Now we are joining with a coalition of Human Rights and activists groups seeking to end American-sponsored torture by holding those responsible accountable. We are seeking justice for those who were tortured and for the war crimes committed in violation of the laws of the United States, the Geneva Convention, and basic human decency.

We are organizing a Torture Accountability Action Day on June 25th in Washington DC and cities across the country.

If you can be in the DC area on June 25th, here are the details:
Where:  John Marshall Park, 501 Pennsylvania Ave NW
When:  Tabling starts at 9am, Speakers and rally are 11am to Noon, March to the Department of Justice at Noon
What:  A day of demonstration aimed at ending torture by holding those responsible accountable. We will call on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a Special Prosecutor for torture and war crimes.
For events in other cities...
Check this page for updates. Events are currently planned in 10 cities. 
Help organize an event in your own city by contacting the coalition.
Wherever you are...
Join the site and become a Torture Accountability Action Member. This will allow you to stay informed about the June 25th action day and future events.
There will be more updates as June 25th approaches. Until then, help spread the word. You know people! Tap your email contacts, your Facebook friends, your Twitter network. Failure to hold the torture masters accountable will guarantee their crimes will be repeated in the future. This is one of those times when grassroots organizing and old-fashioned people power is the only thing that will enforce our nation's most basic laws and uphold the most fundamental tenets of human dignity. 


Mason said...

I agree that those in charge of the torture scheme should be held accountable. But I'm worried that a witch hunt (as will be portrayed by the media) will completely stop momentum for health reform, energy reform, etc. I assume that this is a strategy by the WH - to continue with legislative agenda while the DOJ and Judiciary continue to investigate what happened and who's responsible. How do you balance a moral stand and political strategy?

Better Than Machines said...

The DOJ doing the right thing by investigating and prosecuting torturers should be totally separate from and unrelated to the administration's legislative agenda. It's possible that the media would portray it as a witch hunt. Maybe it would be advantageous for the president to stay silent about the whole thing. This shouldn't be about Obama chasing down war criminals, but about our justice system doing what it's supposed to do. If the Attorney General were doing his job, he would appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute torture and war crimes given the loads of evidence of such crimes.

While the court cases are in motion, hopefully the administration would still be doing other things, like health care reform and energy reform.

Camp Papa said...

Every day that passes without a good faith effort to enforce US law and our international treaty obligations is a further erosion of our standing in the world. Unless we are willing to destroy the world and ourselves along with it, our military cannot be our only means of relating to others. Our moral authority has to be primary. Dr. MLK wrote: "Power at its best is Love implementing the demands of Justice. Justice at its best is Love correcting everything that stands against Love."

The consistent application of that kind of "power" becomes the source of the real strength of a nation.

Mason said...

It's difficult to know to what exent the DOJ and Judiciary is investigating the torture scheme with an intent to prosecute. However, the instant that charges are brought against officials, especially higher-ups, FORGET ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE. That will be THE issue for a long time and it will be very difficult to move forward on any key legislative priorities. We have a great political climate now and we're still having a hard time pushing through major policy reforms that are worth a damn. It would be a media circus and Obama cannot separate himself from DOJ or the attorney general. This situation would be highly divisive, whether "justice" was truely served would be unclear, and the central theme of Obama's first term would probably be the prosecutions--very possibly at the cost of legislative breakthroughs and endangering re-election.
As Camp Papa pointed out, as we neglect to enforce the laws our world standing diminishes, but the problem is weighing the opportunity cost. It may very well be a matter of facing an environmental disater or going to war over oil again because we have no viable energy policy or millions continuing to go without health care, etc--both moral crises in their own right.
In sum, TIMING is the key issue and I expect that the WH is considering all this in its strategy.
The problem comes when it never becomes politically convenient to prosecute and justice is therefore never served.