The International Red Cross is reporting that prisoners at Guantanamo have been tortured. So this issue is back in the news — and practical steps can be taken to stop this vile invasion of the Image of God.
Torture at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, the secret places where the US is holding unknown prisoners, and where it has sent other prisoners to countries notorious for their use of extreme torture — all can be traced up the chain of command.
One of the crucial links in the torture chain of command was Alberto Gonzales, the White House counsel who advised the President he could annul the Geneva Conventions and authorize the use of torture.
The President rewarded this enormous increase in the most dangerous powers of any executive — the kind of royal behavior we fought the American Revolution to free ourselves from — by appointing Gonzales to be Attorney General.
But he must still be confirmed by the Senate, and that begins with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Its chair is a "moderate" Republican; its ranking minority leader, a liberal Democrat.
Please call or write them at the following addresses:
Senator Patrick Leahy
433 Russell Senate Office Bldg
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Senator Arlen Specter
711 Hart Building
Washington, DC 20510
When you write, please be explicit about the religious, spiritual, and ethical commitments that move you and about your concerns regarding the practical as well as symbolic consequences if Gonzales is confirmed.
The Attorney General supervises a great deal of Federal law enforcement. He can put teeth in the notion that the President stands above the law, and he can put teeth in permission to use torture. Iron teeth.
You can find a great deal of background information on our Website here.
If you are in or near New York City, come take part in the Action Aspect of our Hanukkah celebration on December 12. It will honor both Seymour Hersh and Ruth Messinger. Hersh broke the story of the chain of comnmand that authorized torture. We will arrange for active effort to stop the Gonzales nomination.