A Letter For Those Who are Triggered
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Today, I was participating in a thread about the photos from Abu Ghraib that show graphic images of rape and sexual assault. Several commenters said that they simply felt too triggered by the issue to write a letter about it. I understand this completely, and I volunteered to write a generic draft letter that they could use.
Here it is:
I am writing to ask you to do whatever is in your power to bring about impartial, thorough investigation into torture and abuse of prisoners by the US government. As a signatory to the UN Convention Against Torture, our government has agreed to such investigations whenever there is reasonable suspicion that torture has been perpetrated by, or at the command of, any official of our government.
In specific, these are the areas that I believe must be investigated:
- Any and all connections between White House level policies regarding so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" (torture) and the part that such policies played in abuses that were carried out by soldiers and contractors at such places as Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.
- Why did the Bush administration proceed with authorizing and carrying out acts that, according to their own legal advisors (documented in the footnotes of a memo dated 5/10/05 - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/16/bush-memo-footnotes-defin_n_188008.html) were torture?
- Why were contractors carrying out such torture allowed to exceed even the administration's own questionable guidelines for these techniques, without being investigated and brought up on charges of torture? Did the Bush administration neglect their duty and/or commit obstruction of justice in this matter?
- Were contractors who were authorized by Bush administration memos to carry out torture involved in training soldiers, interrogators, and contractors at Abu Ghraib?
- Have victims of torture (some of whom, in Abu Ghraib, were raped and sexually assualted) been allowed the opportunity to seek redress as agreed in Article 14 of the Convention Against Torture? Has a legal system to assure fair and adequate compensation to these victims been established by the US in accordance with the Convention?
- Have all those who have broken the laws of these United States, and international agreements, been brought to justice?
I request that you uphold your oath to protect and defend our Constitution by doing all in your power to bring investigation into abuses and torture authorized and carried out by officials and agents of the United States.
PS -- If you want to "sign on" to this, leave your real name and address in comments (or email it to me, stating clearly that you are authorizing me to add your name/address to the letter) and I will include your name on my hard-copy to President Obama.
Posted byPortlyDyke at 9:35 AM