Wednesday, November 15, 2006

If our Speaker-Elect of the House asked me what she should do first...

(Note: This letter was published in a somewhat abridged and edited form in yesterday's Inquirer ... but Ms Pelosi will get the original version.)

Open Letter to the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker-Elect, United States House of Representatives

Dear Madam Speaker:

Allow me to congratulate you most sincerely on your hard-won victory. Looking forward to the day when you will take your place at the rostrum, I beg you to remember that there is a serious wrong to right, a shameful stain on our nation’s honor to cleanse.

To your credit, Madam Speaker, you voted against the heinous Military Commissions Act of 2006. Unfortunately, the bill was passed by fear-mongering representatives and senators who chose to cast aside universally recognized standards of human rights. According to its provisions, our President can now authorize “enhanced” interrogation procedures such as sleep deprivation, hypothermia, and water-boarding. Prisoners will continue to be held indefinitely without the right to challenge their detention in federal court, and information obtained by coercion and the infliction of physical or mental pain can be used against them. Furthermore, by its loose definition of “enemy combatant,” this law jeopardizes the civil rights even of American citizens.

As Speaker of the House of Representatives, it will soon be within your power to initiate the process of repeal, thus demonstrating to the world that the United States still upholds the principles of liberty and justice for all.

Madam Speaker, tear down this law.

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