Monday, December 15, 2008

Help Obama End Torture

See that button in the side bar? Give it a click and endorse the Declaration of Principles of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.

NRCAT is collecting endorsements by individuals and groups to present to President-Elect Obama to urge him to issue an executive order based on the principles shortly after he is sworn in on January 20th. President-Elect Obama has consistently stated his opposition to torture – but now we must encourage him to live up to his words by quickly acting to end our country’s use of torture.

The principles are as follows:

The “Golden Rule.” We will not authorize or use any methods of interrogation that we would not find acceptable if used against Americans, be they civilians or soldiers.

One national standard. We will have one national standard for all US personnel and agencies for the interrogation and treatment of prisoners. Currently, the best expression of that standard is the US Army Field Manual, which will be used until any other interrogation technique has been approved based on the Golden Rule principle.

The rule of law. We will acknowledge all prisoners to our courts or the International Red Cross. We will in no circumstance hold persons in secret prisons or engage in disappearances. In all cases, prisoners will have the opportunity to prove their innocence in ways that fully conform to American principles of fairness.

Duty to protect. We acknowledge our historical commitment to end the use of torture and cruelty in the world. The US will not transfer any person to countries that use torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

Checks and balances. Congress and the courts play an invaluable role in protecting the values and institutions of our nation and must have and will have access to the information they need to be fully informed about our detention and interrogation policies. Clarity and accountability. All US personnel—whether soldiers or intelligence staff—deserve the certainty that they are implementing policy that complies fully with the law. Henceforth all US officials who authorize, implement, or fail in their duty to prevent the use of torture and ill-treatment of prisoners will be held accountable, regardless of rank or position.

But don’t stop there. Tell others about the declaration and get them to endorse also.

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