Friday, March 27, 2015

Not in my name, President Obama!

Photo in the Public Domain
November 2003 – Hooded detainee with wires attached to hands and genitalia stands on a box; the detainee was told that he would be electrocuted if he fell off the box. Staff Sgt. Ivan “Chip” Frederick, at right, clips his fingernails.

I still recall the shock I felt the day I first realized U.S. officials were subjecting their detainees to extremes of torture. And today I'm even more shocked to realize that our 08 peace candidate, President Barack Obama, has chosen to avert his eyes to these horrific practices and yes, people, they were conducted in our name.

Ken Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch explains:

Dear Virginia,

I need your help right away.

Painful stress positions, “rectal rehydration,” waterboarding, days of continuous sleep deprivation faced by detainees—often chained, naked, or diapered—in their cells.

There is no longer any doubt: US officials carried out brutal acts of torture in the name of the American people—in your name. The recently released Senate Intelligence Committee Report on the CIA’s use of torture confirms it.

A vital question remains: will officials who authorized, oversaw, or covered it up be held to account?

That’s why I’m asking you to stand with us now. Sign our petition to President Obama and demand a criminal investigation into the illegal use of torture by US officials.

Authoritarian regimes and extremist groups carry out torture across the globe to intimidate and control their enemies.

So did senior officials under the Bush administration after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Yet today, President Obama is choosing to treat torture committed by US officials as an unfortunate policy decision, rather than a serious crime.

Demand that justice is finally served. Sign the petition right now.

Although President Obama’s decision to end the use of torture during his administration was the right choice, it’s an easily reversible one. Without the investigation and prosecution of US officials, Obama is sending the message that a future administration—with future justifications—can consider torture to be a viable option.

Tell Obama that torture is not an option, and to immediately call for the investigation and prosecution of all those responsible.

Torture techniques did not yield any actionable intelligence for the US that it could not have obtained through lawful means.

More importantly, torture undermines our core principles and fundamental human dignity.

Torture should never be tolerated. Period. Help us urge Obama to take action. Sign the petition today.

We need you now more than ever. Stand with us and tell President Obama that he can’t turn away from torture.

Sign the petition right now.

Thank you,

Kenneth Roth Kenneth Roth Signature

Kenneth Roth
  Executive Director
Human Rights Watch

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