Weekly Torture Action Letter 5: Investigate, It Might Prove Them Innocent
Welcome to the fifth of the Dog’s letter writing campaign series. The basic premise here is to, on a weekly basis; write a letter to the President, the Attorney General, the nine Justices of the Supreme Court, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid, urging them to investigate the apparent State Sponsored Torture program of the Bush Administration. In order to get their attention, every week the Dog writes from a different perspective about the issue, so that on the off chance that they read more than one of these letters it is clear that it is not the same thing over and over. This series also offers the reader the chance to write their own letter or cut and paste the Dog’s letter and send it in. The more people that we have sending weekly letters the higher chance that we will be heard on this issue, so if you could take the time to send this along it would be greatly appreciated.
One bit of housekeeping; the Dog would like to add President Obama’s chief political aides Chief of Staff Emanuel and David Axelrod to the list of weekly recipients. It seem pretty clear they are telling him tales of divisiveness and policy disaster if he pursues the Rule of Law in this issue, so we must show them there are a large group of citizens who expect their leaders to earn the perks of leadership by doing the right thing, even when (especially when) it is hard. To date the Dog has been unable to find an email address for them, if any one reading this knows a good email contact, please put it in the comments. If in the next two weeks we can not find one, the Dog will add them as a snail mail option, like the Supreme Court Justices.
This weeks letter might seem a little disingenuous (it is) but it does make an argument that comes at this problem from a different way. As there are likely to be many of these letters the Dog feels that we must take every tack possible, who knows which one will move the Administration to action?
President Barack Obama
The Justices of the United States Supreme Court
Attorney General Eric Holder
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
Majority Leader of the Senate Harry Reid
Dear Mr. President;
I write you today, as I do every Monday to ask for your Administration to investigate the allegations of a State Sponsored Torture program by the Bush Administration. This is an issue which continues to do sever damage to our image around the world but particularly in the Muslim world.
Your recent trip to Europe has done much to regain some of the credibility we have lost through the allegations of torture that have haunted the Bush Administration, but rebuilding our image is a marathon not a sprint. We will have to show in actions not just words that we are not as the world suspects. It is to this goal that I urge you to investigate the alleged State Sponsored Torture program.
Both President Bush and Vice President Cheney have been very clear in saying they were completely within the law when they used the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques”. Even the use of waterboarding (generally considered by US and International law to be torture) has been presented as being done in such a way as to be both not torture and legal. If this is true, then these former high officers of the United States should not be allowed to be slandered by the accusation of being the enablers of torture.
While it is true that public officials have a much higher standard of slander than others in our society, to be falsely accused (if this is indeed the case) of such a heinous War Crime must surely rise to the level needed. It is within your power, Mr. President, to shine a bright light on this issue. If there is exculpatory evidence, then it would surely be found in the course of an investigation by a Special Prosecutor.
While you may be being advised that there would be divisive consequences if you started such an investigation, I would point out this assumes President Bush and Vice President Cheney are guilty. Investigation does not assume this at all, as I am sure you know. It is merely a tool to find if the law has been broken or not. If the former Administrations claims of no wrong doing are true, then surely they do not want to live with the taint of a torture allegation hanging over their heads and legacies forever.
Also by appointing a Special Prosecutor you will show the world the United States is truly serious when it declares torture to be beyond the pale for any nation which would stand as a leader in the community of nations. It would reinforce your recent words with actions. Not to mention the support for the Rule of Law.
Many think the Rule of Law is a punitive thing that it finds and punishes the guilty, but we should never forget that it also exonerates the innocent. If you do not let an investigation of the very serious and credible allegations of a State Sponsored Torture program go forward, you not only prevent anyone guilty of being punished you also prevent the innocent from being absolved.
As the Nations Chief Executive and nominally the Chief Law Officer you have a responsibility to see that the law is allowed and encouraged to work as designed. I ask, as a citizen who believes strongly in the law that you do so.
So, there is this week’s letter. It is more than a little tongue-in-cheek in assuming there is any chance that criminal Bush Administration could be exonerated, but sometimes the odd ball argument gets people thinking in new directions.
Below are the links for sending your letters. As always the Supreme Court requires that you send it snail mail, but they also read a surprising number the letters that they receive so don’t ignore that one:
US Supreme Court, Attention All Justices –
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court Bldg.
Washington, DC 20543
Thanks in advance for taking the time to try to prevent torture from going uninvestigated.
The floor is yours.