Happy Monday and welcome to my letter writing campaign series. The object of this series is to keep the issue of accountability under the law for the apparent Bush Administration state sponsored torture program. For those who are new to this series here is how it works. On Mondays, I write a letter to the Attorney General and other decision makers urging them to follow the laws of our nation, fully investigate, and where appropriate evidence exists, prosecute those who conspired to torture, ordered torture and carried it out.

The way you get involved is to take the letter and either use it as the starting place for your own letter or to cut and paste it over your own name and send it off. I provide all the e-mail addresses or links to contact the AG, the President, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, Judiciary Chairs Conyers and Leahy and Rep. Jerry Nadler, you just provide a few minutes of your time to keep this issue alive.

This week we write the Attorney General, with copies to all of the other decision makers. Below is the letter;

Dear Attorney General Holder;

I write you today in the hopes you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving. There is much to be thankful for this year in my family as well. Sadly, we cannot be as joyful as we would like, because of the actions of the Department of Justice.

Our ability to feel that we live in a nation where the rule of law is paramount has been severely damaged by the lack of action from your Department. The issue, which I refer to, is the failure of the Department of Justice to act according to our Federal laws and International treaty obligations in the matter of the apparent Bush Administration conspiracy to commit torture.

I understand there is an absolute grant of prosecutorial discretion in our system of justice, but I also understand this is to be use in areas like plea bargaining or when our system of laws might produce an unjust outcome. Clearly, this is not the case in this area. I can say that with certainty as there has not been a full criminal investigation of the Bush Administration officials, both inside and outside the DoJ, for the conspiracy to commit torture.

We know, from public and under oath statements, that the Bush Administration contemplated using waterboarding on so-called “high value prisoners”. They knew that waterboarding, as a matter of settled national and international law was torture. Still they went ahead and acted in a manner, which was intended to break this law, while reducing the legal jeopardy to all involved. This is the very basis of a conspiracy.

The output of this conspiracy to commit torture was the infamous Yoo and Bybee memos. To say these memos represent a significant departure from the standards of legal reasoning and practice is a major understatement. These memos were so poor in their reasoning that the Bush Administration Office of Professional Responsibility felt compelled to investigate the men who drafted them. It has been reported that the first draft of this report (yet unreleased) suggested disciplinary action, including disbarment proceedings for those involved.

Attorney General Holder, how can you in good conscience let this matter go? From your testimony in your confirmation hearings, you have stated, unequivocally, that waterboarding is torture. A single instance of this would be a crime not matter the legal justifications attained in advance. How can you let the conspiracy to commit this crime go uninvestigated?

Sir, you know from your previous work in the law that merely punishing the low-level criminals of a criminal conspiracy does nothing to achieve the overall societal goal of preventing a repetition of the crime. It requires the investigation, and prosecution of the high-level criminals to assure this goal. By merely investigating the “bad apples”, you go a long way to assure there will be a repetition of these heinous acts in the future.

Ask yourself Mr. Attorney General, what is best of the nation? Is it better for us to face this problem, with all its political implications or is it better to leave the issue out there to be handled sometime in the future, when we inevitably torture again?

It is my sincere hope you have things to be thankful for this year. However, I expect that your actions or rather your failure to act in the single biggest issue of rule of law in our lifetimes have tarnished your ability to be truly joyful, as it has tarnished mine. This would be the sign of a man of conscience, not someone who meekly follows the course of least resistance in order to avoid political troubles.

Please show you are not that second man, do the right thing, do the thing you know in your heart needs to be done, appoint a Special Counsel to fully investigate and prosecute the crime of torture and conspiracy to commit torture. Anything else is a betrayal of the legal system you have dedicated your life to serving.


President Obama
Majority Leader Reid
Speaker Pelosi
Sen. Leahy
Rep. Conyers
Rep. Nadler
Deputy AG Ogden
Associate AG Perrelli

Okay you have the letter, now you will need the links.

AG Holder, Deputy AG Ogden and Associate AG Perrelli can all be reached at AskDOJ@usdoj.gov. Be sure to put Attention then their name in the subject line.

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 it is up to you. You can, like the AG, look away from the illegal, callous, inhumane and ultimately self-defeating acts of torture, which were committed in our names, or you can take a stand and say “No more. I will live in a nation of laws and no one, no matter how powerful, will be exempt from accountability under the law”, and act.

The floor is yours.

"Originally posted at Squarestate.net"

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 Govtrak.org