Torturous Strategery

by digby

I would like to reiterate D-Day's call to send emails to ABC today to ask Charlie Gibson to follow up on ABC's scoop revealing that the highest levels of the executive branch held meetings in the white house to discuss in great detail and unanimously approve of torture techniques. ABC should be proud of their story and asking the Democratic candidates about it in such a big public forum would do a lot to get the story out.

You can contact them here and demand that they follow up their reporting on torture by pushing it into the Presidential race. Contacting World News Tonight with moderator Charlie Gibson and ABC News Programming Specials would probably be the most helpful.

But long term, we need to do something more. one possibility, is that the House is about to bring up Defense Appropriations Bill (I don't know exactly when) and perhaps these revelations will motivate the appropriators to attach H.R. 1416 the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007 repealing the portions of the Military Commissions Act which suspended habeas corpus and the Geneva Conventions --- and H.R 1352 the Torture Outsourcing Prevention Act which would “prohibit the return or other transfer of persons by the United States, for the purpose of detention, interrogation, trial, or otherwise, to countries where torture or other inhuman treatment of persons occurs, and for other purposes.” This needs to be publicly debated in as many forums as we can find and with the revelations of top Bush administration officials personally choreographing torture, the House should be interested in pushing this to the top of the agenda.

If we don't get our Representatives to start making this a part of the debate, there is every reason to believe that it will not be properly dealt with in the next congress or by the next administration, regardless of party --- there are obviously strong institutional forces working overtime to shield those responsible and sweep this issue under the rug. The only way to see that this isn't done is through public education and pressure from the ground up.

So, as hard as it is to believe that this is necessary in the year 2008, we need to have some noisy public debates over the issue of torture so the public can begin to understand that this is important to our national security and the society in which we live. It may be politically expedient to "let it go" but we can't afford to do it. Proposed bills already exists to roll back some of the Bush administration's atrocious legislation (helped along by St John McCain, I might add.) Getting them back on the agenda is the first step to having this out.