Target: United States Senator Mark Udall
Goal: Ensure that uncensored findings from the Senate investigation on the Bush administration’s torture program are made available to the public
The torture of detainees has become a matter of course in the war against terrorism. While some claim the need for torture trumps the human rights of prisoners, international outrage follows whenever details of the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) “rendition, detention and interrogation” program are made public. After an investigation spanning more than six years the Senate prepared to release an exhaustive report on the Bush administration’s torture program. Individuals linked to these abuses have been quick to defend the use of torture, and desperate to keep key details hidden from the public.
Republican congressman and chair of the House Intelligence Committee Mike Rogers is among those seeking to discredit the report’s findings. In a CNN interview he claimed that releasing the report “will cause violence and deaths” and an increase in anti-American sentiment around the world. Former president George W. Bush also spoke with the news network, defending CIA torturers as “patriots” and “really good people.” “Whatever the report says,” Bush warned, “if it diminishes their contribution to our country, it is way off base.”
Fortunately not all politicians are so quick to defend America’s torture program, or to demand that its details remain state secrets. Senator Mark Udall told Esquire magazine that he will do “everything in his power” to ensure that the investigation’s findings are made public. Applaud his courage and determination, and urge him to keep his promise should the report be further censored before its release.
Dear Senator Udall,
Intelligence officials and representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross have described witnessing heinous abuses at prisons reserved for “high value” detainees. Yet waterboarding, mock executions and sleep deprivation have not made America safer from terrorism. If anything the use of torture on detainees–many of whom were never charged with crimes–has increased the risk of terrorist attacks on the United States.
That many prominent politicians and former officials defend these techniques, and dismiss the findings of the Senate’s multi-year investigation, is a disgrace. Despite a strong push to sweep this damning report under the rug you have proven yourself to be a vocal defender of human rights, committed to making its contents public. I urge you to keep your promise to the American people, and to expose the Bush-era torture program against all efforts to glorify or obscure it.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Carlos Latuff via Wikimedia Commons