Dear Friends,

I am writing this because I am very frustrated and heart broken.

As many of you know, the mission of my life is stopping torture as the law, policy and practice of the United States and fighting to have those responsible held legally accountable. I do this in the name and memory of my husband, Dan, who was a Vietnam vet who survived torture. Dan suffered from his injuries for over thirty years, until his fatal heart attack four and a half years ago.

For several years there seemed to a growing consensus and growing energy in the progressive and Democratic community around this issue, and I was very hopeful that we could make the change happen, because those in power would see that they had no choice. Then the Health Care debate and legislation took over the national conversation and the blogoverse conversation too, and pretty much squashed the issue flat. While I absolutely believe that the conversation and legislation surrounding health care had to happen, I had hoped that following its conclusion we could put anti-torture and pro-accountability issues "back on the table". It grieves my heart that this has not really happened.

At the same time as the Health Care debate and legislation was going on, something else was going on too: gradually, those who are committed to this issue have been splintering into different online homes. This makes it much more difficult to get traction on the issue. Those in power need to see that there is a strong and united front who won’t back down from pointing out that torture is still the law, policy and practice of the United States, and demanding that it stop and be removed, and demanding that there be legal accountability for torture.

I understand why the fracturing has happened, and that people on all sides have been hurt, but we MUST stand together, or those who suffer every single day in Guantanamo and at the other prisons will continue to suffer every single day. I know you know that. I know that you feel their suffering in your bones.

Please, help me.

I need your ideas.
I need your energy.
I need your commitment.

Standing with you, for justice and accountability,
For Dan,
For all those without a voice,
Heather

Chacounne

Chacounne

chacounne@gmail.com

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