Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Obama, what about torture?

The ACLU has a campaign to urge White House correspondents to ask President Obama the following question in Wednesday's "100th Day" press conference:

The so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” exposed in the torture memos include keeping detainees awake for up to 11 straight days, dousing them with cold water and placing them naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. One prisoner -- Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- was waterboarded 183 times in a month. Do you believe that a country - or a president - can afford to look at shocking evidence of illegal torture and simply look away?
Think about that: our government waterboarded a man--poured water over his face to give him the feeling of being drowned--ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY THREE TIMES in one month. What would you tell your interrogators if you were in his position?

The ACLU has been instrumental in holding the Bush administration accountable for its decision to use torture. From the email they sent me:
  • Today, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the ACLU in an important case against Jeppesen Data Plan -- a subsidiary of Boeing. Jeppesen was responsible for organizing extraordinary rendition flights used repeatedly by the CIA to move detainees to countries where they could be tortured.
  • In response to a long-standing ACLU Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the Department of Defense has agreed to release a substantial number of photos depicting the abuse of prisoners by U.S. personnel by May 28.
  • In another crucial ACLU case, a federal judge has rejected the CIA’s attempt to withhold records related to the agency’s destruction of 92 videotapes that depicted the harsh interrogation of CIA prisoners.



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