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Weekly Torture Action Letter 24 – Conspiracy Is A Crime In And Of Itself

Happy Monday and welcome to my on-going letter writing campaign for accountability under the law for the apparent Bush Administration state sponsored torture program. I have been away from this for a couple of weeks due to his Mom having surgery and still being in the hospital. Somehow that really whacked my ability to write anything coherent (some would say this is a normal state of affairs, but they are just meanies!) In any case it is time to get going again on keeping the issue of accountability alive. The idea of this series is to write a letter to the decision makers of our country every Monday reminding them of their responsibility both morally and under US and International law to fully investigate and where evidence exists prosecute any credible allegation of torture.

I make it as easy for you as I can, I writes a letter you can just cut and paste, adding your name at the bottom or use as a jumping off point for your own thoughts. I also provides the e-mail addresses for the decision makers so all you have to do is act.

This week, as most weeks, we will be writing the Attorney General but also sending copies to the President, Speaker of the House Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, Judiciary Committee Chairs Leahy and Conyers and Representative Nadler.

Here is this week’s letter:

Dear Attorney General Holder;

Sir, I am writing you this week to once again urge you to fulfill your obligations under the United States Federal torture statutes and the International Conventions Against Torture.

It is not enough, not close to enough, for your Department to dip its toe into investigating those who went beyond the guidance of the Bybee and Yoo memos. Your own Department has found these memos to be so bad as to perhaps constitute a breach of legal ethics strong enough to recommend action disciplinary action from the Bar Association. It is hard to understand how you could allow the use of them as a shield form prosecution for those who actually used them to carry out torture.

Mr. Attorney General, you have testified under oath before the Senate that waterboarding is in fact torture. This is a crime in and of itself. However there is also the crime of conspiracy to commit torture. Under Federal Statute defines conspiracy as:

The elements of a conspiracy offense under 18 U.S.C. § 371 are:
(1) that two ore more persons conspired, or agreed, to commit the crimes described in the indictment;
(2) that the defendants knowingly and voluntarily joined the conspiracy; and
(3) that a member of the conspiracy did one of overt acts for the purpose of advancing or helping the conspiracy.

It is clear from what we know from public testimony and your statements at your confirmation hearings that the act of asking for a memo allowing a the known crime of waterboarding and committing the actual act fulfill all of the requirements of conspiracy to commit torture. The fact the members of the Bush Administration asked for and received legal counsel on this does not in any way limit them from culpability under a charge of conspiracy to commit torture.

There is a further problem Attorney General Holder; the three men who held your office immediately before your have, frankly, disgraced that office. They made it clear they were more interested in the political consequences of their actions than the rule of law. It is not surprising given they were all appointed by the same president. You, however, were appointed by a different president so the decision about redeeming the independent nature of the Department of Justice is yours and yours alone. If you fail to fully investigate and prosecute all of those who broke the law in the Bush Administration, and broke it in such a heinous and flagrant way, merely because it is politically hard to do, then you will be confirming that politics and not the rule of law are a primary concern of the Department of Justice. It would be a tragic thing to do both for your reputation and the United States.

Attorney General Holder, do the right thing; appoint a Special Prosecutor and fully investigate. The time is now, do not leave this to others and let this undermining of the rule of law continue.


President Barack Obama
Speaker of the House Pelosi
Majority Leader Reid
Judiciary Chair Leahy
Judiciary Chair Conyers
Rep. Nadler

You have the letter, now what you need are some links they are below:

Department of Justice, attention AG Holder –

The White House, Attention President Obama
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Majority Leader Harry Reid
Rep John Conyers – Judiciary Committee Chair
Chairman Leahy
Representative Jerry Nadler
(to get past Rep. Nadler’s filter use Zip Code 11224-4561 and the address of 445 Neptune Ave, Brooklyn, NY)

Now all that is left is for you to act, please take the time to keep the issue of accountability alive.

The floor is yours.

"Originally posted at"

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Bill Egnor

Bill Egnor

I am a life long Democrat from a political family. Work wise I am a Six Sigma Black Belt (process improvement project manager) and Freelance reporter for