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Sign  the Declaration Against American Torture

Hearings on the appointment of Alberto Gonzales to  attorney general of the United States will  begin this Thursday, January 6. Serious questions still remain regarding  Gonzales' apparent advocacy of torture as a legitimate practice by American  soldiers, government agents and contractors.

ActForChange has teamed up with True Majority, MoveOn,  Faithful America, Sojourners and Win Without War to call on Alberto Gonzales, nominee for chief law enforcement officer of the United  States, members of the U.S. Senate, and other responsible  government officials, to sign a Declaration Against Torture, unequivocally  renouncing all forms of torture and abuse as instruments of American policy.

The Attorney General is charged with protecting the  civil liberties of every American, and the American public must be assured  that the person who holds the job is up to that task.

Click  here to read the complete Declaration Against Torture and to take action!

Please  forward this newsletter to your friends and help spread the word about this  important campaign!

Thank you for working to build a better world.

Jennifer Willis 


Hellllp! Last 2 Days to Stop Mr. Torture!!

Hurry, help get the word out! 
The confirmation hearing of 
Alberto Gonzales begins Jan. 5th!! 
You can send a message from 
this website: 

Or if you prefer, you can sign-up 
and send a message from the 
"People for the American Way" 

Or visit their Mr. Torture Resource Center: 

You can read the Gonzales Torture Memo, 
the Red Cross Report, and find related 
documents and info here: 

“The best way for the American people 
to send a message to the Bush administration 
and the world that ‘we the people’ of the 
United States do not condone torture 
is to mobilize to reject the nomination 
of Alberto Gonzales.” 

-- Ron Daniels, Executive Director, 
the Center for Constitutional Rights 

President Bush’s nomination of White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales to be the next Attorney General would elevate the architect of the Administration’s torture policy to the position of the chief law enforcement officer in the land. His confirmation hearing begins on January 5. Please help us oppose this travesty of justice – tell your representatives: “tough questions are not enough.” Send a message to the Bush Administration and the world that the American people do not condone torture. 

Mr. Gonzales is the author of the infamous “torture memo” that called the Geneva Conventions “obsolete” and “quaint,” and he has argued for virtually limitless presidential power to evade or circumvent laws and treaties on the theory that the Commander-in-Chief is not accountable to the Judiciary as it relates to the “war against terrorism.” The memos Gonzales authored and commissioned paved the way to the abuse and torture of detainees at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, many of whom are represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights. At CCR, we have seen the terrible effect of the evasion of the rule of law on human beings first hand. There is no question but that there is a causal link between the memoranda and other directives devised by Mr. Gonzales and the horrible infractions committed by officers in the field. 

As White House counsel, Gonzales consistently treated the law as an inconvenient obstacle and ignored the expertise of those who disagreed with him. He argued that U.S. citizens could be held incommunicado and stripped of the right to counsel and the right to challenge their detention in a court of law for as long as the President deemed necessary. He hosted meetings where they discussed the use of specific torture techniques, including mock burial and “water boarding,” where the victim is made to feel that he is drowning. Gonzales and his circle approved the use of dogs, hooding, and extreme sensory deprivation, all forbidden by the Geneva Conventions and the International Covenant Against Torture. He redefined torture to limit it to only those actions that lead to organ failure, death or permanent psychological damage. Gonzales justified this relaxed definition of torture on the grounds that in a time of war, interrogators need to extract information from prisoners quickly to save American lives. However, it has long been established by experts in the field that torture leads to false confessions and bad intelligence. The policies advocated by Mr. Gonzales will expose our own troops to danger the world over for decades to come. 

In their scathing editorial on the nomination, The Washington Post linked Mr. Gonzales directly to the tortures at Abu Ghraib and called his legal positions “damaging and erroneous.” Newsweek wrote that “Gonzales ultimately signed off on all of the administration's most controversial legal moves.” 

Many members of Congress have said that they will not oppose Mr. Gonzales’s nomination, that he will only be made to answer tough questions before sailing through the confirmation process. We at the Center for Constitutional Rights object to giving an architect of torture a promotion. We reiterate, tough questions are not enough. Please ask your Congressional representatives and the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to stand up and oppose the nomination of Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General. We hope you will join us in declaring that this man and his policies do not represent who we are as Americans! 

Please circulate this widely and quickly – the hearings begin the first week of the New Year! To send a letter, click here. 

Sincerely yours, 

Ron Daniels 
Executive Director 
Center for Constitutional Rights 
For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.