Weekly Torture Action Letter 8 – AG Holder, You Are Riding a Tiger
This is the eighth in Dog’s letter writing campaign. For those joining us in the middle the basic idea is that each week the Dog creates a letter which you, the home audience can cut and paste and send to the following list of officials:
Majority Leader Reid
Justices of the Supreme Court
Of course you can send it to your Senators and Representative as well, but the point is to get a steady drum beat of letters to these folks in the hopes that they will read some of them and take action on the issue of the Bush administrations State Sponsored Torture program.
This week’s letter is going to be addressed to AG Holder, with copies to all of the others.
Dear AG Holder;
I am writing today in regard the apparent State Sponsored Torture program of the Bush administration. I call it that because from the Congressional testimony, public statements and documents made public it seems clear to me that there is enough evidence that there was some kind of torture program, authorized at the very highest levels of the Bush administration under the guise if “enhanced interrogation techniques”.
General Holder, I know there is a huge discussion going on within the Department of Justice as to whether to start criminal investigations on this issue and whom to investigate. I will not presume to try to tell you who should be investigated but instead I would urge you to make your decision quickly, lest the issue become one you can not truly control.
There is no doubt that you have inherited a DOJ that is perceived as having enormous problems with politicization. This can not make your work on the issue of torture any easier. I am sure that you are hearing there will be perceptions of continued politicization no matter what your decision. This is actually not the case, there is one path which will not only help to repair the DOJ’s reputation as well being the right thing to do. AG Holder, follow the law. Appoint a Special Counsel as there was with the Valerie Plame outing. After that, let the investigation scrupulously follow the law. This is all that is needed or required of the DOJ.
I urge you to do this sooner rather than later. The release of the Office of Professional Responsibilty report on the DOJ attorneys who drafted the memo’s justifying waterboarding, which until those memos was considered by long settled law to be torture of the worst kind, will enflame this issue even further. Then, one month from tomorrow, the 2,000 as yet unseen Abu Ghrab pictures will be made public. This will also ratchet up the visceral disgust that Americans rightly feel as they find they are indeed party to torture, State Sponsored torture at that.
By late summer there will be street protests, potentially massive in their size as those who know there is never a justification for torture, all legal razzle dazzle to the contrary, make it clear they will not allow this to be swept under the rug. While these things will happen regardless of what you do, if you have let the law take it course you will be in the position to make the strong argument that we must allow the wheels of justice to turn. This is the correct argument, but it must be put in place sooner rather than later.
I do not need to tell you your position in nearly unique in the Federal Government. You are in but not of the Executive Branch. Your responsibilities are solely to the fair and just enforcement of the law. The DOJ must be above politics, which is why I appeal to you today in the name of the Rule of Law. This nation stands upon a precipice; we are at a point where many of its people are becoming convinced there are two sets of justice, one for the people and one for the powerful. There is nothing that could be more damaging to our system of Justice and, frankly, our democracy than to have this confirmed. You, sir, have the ability to make sure this is not the case.
There are those who, perhaps in an excess of zeal, assume there will be prosecutions of those they dislike for issues other than the one of torture. This, I assure you, is not where I stand. I merely want the law applied fairly, I want every apparent crime investigated and where the evidence of criminality warrants it, I want those accused to have their day in court to prove their innocence or guilt, just like any other American accused of a crime.
Attorney General Holder, by our system of justice you are the final say in this. Please do not wait too long, and please for the sake of all 305 million of your fellow citizens, do not let politics influence your decision.
Majority Leader Reid
Justices of the United States Supreme Court
There is the letter, now for the links. Two notes; first off the Dog has tried but he can’t make the address to the DOJ work. However if you put it in your browser it will take you to where you can paste in this letter. Second note, the Supreme Court does not accept e-mail, so if you are going to contact them, then you will have to print the letter and send it snail mail.
US Supreme Court, Attention All Justices –
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court Bldg.
Washington, DC 20543
So, there is your letter citizens, will you take a few minutes, one stamp, two pieces of paper and one envelop to do something concrete about torture today?
The floor is yours.