Human Rights Watch needed a grassroots organization to fight an evil bill in Congress. They called on us. We are happy to oblige, because the evil is great, and requires urgent action from YOU.
The whole world is going insane.
* When someone implies that Islam may be rooted in Violence, Muslims the world over "rebut" this criticism by committing Violence!
* Here at home politicians say the Islamists want to destroy our Freedom and the politicians "rebut" this threat by destroying our Freedom!
The antidote to this insanity is YOU. You must keep your head while others are losing theirs. And you must also be resolute, firm, and direct. Toward that end . . .
We are going to be blunt in this message. We are going to put aside our usual reticence about naming names in order to avoid pointless partisan divisions and offending deeply entrenched loyalties to personalities. The crimes involved are too great. We must, like Emile Zola in the Dreyfuss Affair in 19th Century France, stand up, and point, and shout: "I accuse!"
The President of the United States wants to legalize torture. The President wants to create "Star Chamber" courts. These are war crimes. They are crimes against humanity. They are crimes against our heritage and our Constitution. They are being done in your name. And they endanger your future.
President Bush wants legislation that would empower the federal government to . . .
* Arrest non-citizen U.S. residents accused of terrorist involvement as "unlawful enemy combatants."
* Arrest non-citizens for contributing to charities linked to militant groups.
* Charge, try, convict, and punish people based on evidence they have never seen, and cannot rebut. (Such courts are called "Star Chambers," and they are a stain on the history of the human race.)
* Prohibit the accused from challenging the lawfulness of their detention before an independent court.
* Hold people in military prison for life, without ever telling them the cause of their detention.
* Subject detainees to cruel and unusual punishment.
* Use evidence collected through torture to secure convictions.
* Redefine the War Powers Act to grant torturers "Get Out of Jail Free" cards.
On the Background page for our campaign against this legislation you will find links to letters from two Generals who are former members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They oppose these new federal powers. They know these powers will do nothing to defend us. Instead, these new powers will only endanger us.
* They will create new enemies.
* They will put our troops at increased risk of torture, now and in the future.
* They will stain America's reputation forever.
The reasons for this are perfectly clear . . .
* Information gained through torture is useless. Victims of torture will say anything to stop the pain.
* Convictions rendered by "Star Chambers" are baseless. We cannot know who is guilty unless we test the evidence using due process. "Star Chamber" courts will prohibit us from knowing if we have convicted the guilty or the innocent. But . . .
* If we do this, WE will stand convicted in the eyes of the world and of history, and we WILL be guilty.
* And we will move millions who now bear us no ill will into opposition against us.
I could go on -- and on and on and on. But what I've said here should be enough to get you moving (I hope). So I only need to inform you of two more things . . .
First, Congress likes to fight evil with a lesser evil. The lesser evil in this case is a bill from Senators Warner and McCain that would eliminate legalized torture and "Star Chamber" courts, but it would still create special tribunals. We don't need these either. The Geneva Convention, the federal courts, and the Uniform Code of Military justice have served us well in the past against enemies far more terrifying than the Islamic terrorists. But . . .
If the busy-bodies in Congress simply must pass something, they should pass the Warner-McCain bill. Our message to Congress for this campaign is carefully crafted with this in mind.
Second, we need to be bigger. Our government is out of control. We need the size and visibility to wack Congress up side the head with a metaphorical two-by-four whenever necessary. Only you can make this happen by contributing to make it happen. You can send your message to Congress here.You can make your contribution here.
Now, go forth and fight evil. If you won't, who will?