Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tell the Obama administration that we won't take "no" for an answer.

We Can End Torture

Tell the Obama administration that we won't take "no" for an answer.

Call for a non-partisan commission to get the full truth on torture, and make sure we don't ever torture again!
Five years ago, the first photos of torture at Abu Ghraib were leaked to the American public. As shocking as they were, we now know that these abuses were just the tip of the iceberg.

In the past weeks, more and more concrete evidence of torture has surfaced—and this is just the beginning.

For the first time, our government is beginning to admit how devastating these actions were to our country and its security. But admitting that we tortured detainees isn't enough—to turn the page on these violations, we need to understand exactly what happened, and why.

President Obama has said that he would consider a nonpartisan inquiry on torture prosecution for the Bush administration officials who were behind these disastrous policies of torture and harsh detainee treatment.

After years of outcry, we're finally taking huge steps forward—but we need your help to keep the momentum going.

Please sign this petition urging President Obama to get the full truth on torture. He needs to see that the American people won't take "no" for an answer.

The U.S. government can't promise us—and the rest of the world—that this won't happen again unless it thoroughly investigates how we allowed these violations to take place. The Senate report itself concludes that our past use of torture has done nothing to make America safer or more secure—in fact, it's done exactly the opposite.

We are urging an independent inquiry to help evaluate the full cost of abuses, examine how we got there, and come up with safeguards so we don't repeat the same mistakes. The U.S. needs to invest in a forward-looking strategy on intelligence gathering that gives interrogators training and guidance on which techniques work, and which techniques—such as torture—don't. To get to that point, we need to fully explore our past wrongdoing.

We can't restore our reputation and safeguard our country until we know the truth. Add your name to tell President Obama that we need to fully investigate torture—it's the only way to make sure that it never happens again.

Sharon Kelly
Human Rights First

Because Freedom Can't Protect Itself

You and I can’t let the issue of torture and accountability fade from view.

Tomorrow night at 8 p.m., President Obama will hold a news conference on the 100th day of his presidency. He will be asked roughly 25 questions. We have to make sure at least one of them is about torture.

Here’s how you can help: Urge White House correspondents for the major TV networks to ask the president this question:

The so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” exposed in the torture memos include keeping detainees awake for up to 11 straight days, dousing them with cold water and placing them naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. One prisoner -- Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- was waterboarded 183 times in a month.

Do you believe that a country - or a president - can afford to look at shocking evidence of illegal torture and simply look away?

Act now. Make sure the president is asked about torture tomorrow night.

As you know, the ACLU forced the release of the Bush torture memos and sparked a nationwide debate about torture and accountability. And we’re keeping the pressure on:
  • Today, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the ACLU in an important case against Jeppesen Data Plan -- a subsidiary of Boeing. Jeppesen was responsible for organizing extraordinary rendition flights used repeatedly by the CIA to move detainees to countries where they could be tortured.
  • In response to a long-standing ACLU Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the Department of Defense has agreed to release a substantial number of photos depicting the abuse of prisoners by U.S. personnel by May 28.
  • In another crucial ACLU case, a federal judge has rejected the CIA’s attempt to withhold records related to the agency’s destruction of 92 videotapes that depicted the harsh interrogation of CIA prisoners.
These events are critical to helping the public understand the scope and scale of prisoner abuse. They are also crucial to holding senior officials accountable for authorizing or permitting such abuse.

Thanks for standing with us.


Anthony D. Romero

Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director

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