Friday, January 23, 2009

Email 1/22/09 from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture

Dear Friends:

We hope you've heard the good news that today President Obama signed the executive order we have been seeking -- an executive order that ends the CIA abuse of detainees, closes U.S. secret prisons, and provides the International Committee of the Red Cross with access to U.S.-held detainees. We have stopped our "count-up" clock -- the clock marking the hours that had passed until an executive order halting U.S.-sponsored torture was signed.

This is a moment for celebration and thanksgiving. We have all prayed and labored faithfully for this significant step toward ending U.S.-sponsored torture.

Thank you for all your efforts to help reach this goal.

Is there more to do? Yes!

Along with these sweeping changes in policy, the executive order created a Special Task Force charged with reviewing the Army Field Manual's interrogation guidelines to determine whether "different or additional guidance" is necessary for the CIA. The Task Force has 180 days to report. We need to make sure that any new interrogation technique that the Special Task Force recommends abides by the "Golden Rule" (in other words, each new technique must be both legal and moral if used upon a captured American).

Please email the White House to thank President Obama for his action today and to urge him to ensure that any additional interrogation techniques recommended by the Special Task Force comply with the principle of the "Golden Rule" -- that we will use only those interrogation techniques that would be considered moral and legal if used upon a captured American.

In the coming months we will focus on a legislative agenda to make permanent the elements of this executive order by codifying them into law. We will also continue working to secure a nonpartisan investigation that will provide the critical information necessary to create effective safeguards against the future use of torture and allow the nation to decide whether to pursue criminal prosecutions of those involved in authorizing or implementing policies that led to the use of torture.

Together, we can build on today's victory and ensure that our grandchildren will be able to say, "Our nation once engaged in torture, but we don't do that anymore." May it be so.


Linda Gustitus, President
Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director

No comments: