[saymaListserv] Fwd: [QUIT-L] NRCAT: URGENT ACTION on president's bill

quakerkristi at aol.com quakerkristi at aol.com
Thu Sep 14 14:29:02 JEST 2006

-----Original Message-----
From: jhumphries at IGC.ORG
Sent: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 10:55 AM
Subject: [QUIT-L] NRCAT: URGENT ACTION on president's bill

>From the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (www.nrcat.org):
Dear friends - Now is the time to act.  Do not wait.  This legislation is an historical tipping point in our struggle against U.S.-sponsored torture.
We formed NRCAT as an organization of religious groups dedicated to ending U.S.-sponsored torture.  NRCAT pledged to do what it could as an umbrella organization, but it is not a substitute for the actions of all of your individual organizations, speaking at the same time about the same issue.  I cannot urge you strongly enough to act soon as an organization.  The House Armed Services Committee passed the president's measure and sent it to the House Rules Committee yesterday afternoon.  The Senate is poised for an historic floor debate and vote.  This bill is moving swiftly, and we must act with strength and resolution to oppose it.
I probably do not need to remind you that the president's bill would allow the CIA to conduct brutal, degrading, humiliating, inhuman interrogations in secret prisons.  It retroactively immunizes all U.S. personnel and policy makers from liability under the War Crimes Act, retroactive to 9/11/06.  It imposes a system of military tribunals that does not provide procedures that are fair and just under the standards the U.S. agreed to in the Geneva Conventions.  It allows the president to name "enemy combatants" at will, excepting only U.S. citizens (not including legal residents on U.S. soil), for indefinite detention before and after trial, even if found innocent.  It strips the U.S. federal courts of jurisdiction to review detention issues.  It amends the War Crimes Act to remove the U.S. from the standard set by Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions that provides for fair judicial proceedings and prohibits humiliating and degrading treatment.  This bill is a disaster for those who oppose torture.
I cannot urge you strongly enough to act now.  Quantity will definitely matter on this legislation.  Please:
    #  Activate your constituent bases with the message to contact their congressional delegations NOW.
    #  Send a letter to Congress over your own organization's letterhead to tell them that your organization opposes this legislation.
    #  Call every congressional contact you have to personally press for defeat of this measure.
NRCAT actions:  
1.  I attach the letters NRCAT sent to the White House and specific congressional offices requesting delegation meetings.  We have made follow-up phone calls, sent follow-up faxes, and are calling today to press for visit and set up the schedule.
2.  I attach a copy of the letter that was faxed this morning to all members of the House and Senate.  (The fax to all the members of the Senate also went to all members of the House, with only a change in the greeting.)
3.  Assuming you have endorsed the NRCAT statement on line, you will very shortly receive (if you haven't already received) the email to our Big List with link to Steve Rickard's talking points and other resources for constituents.
4.  We are still working on placement of an op-ed, contact with newspaper editors, media contacts and pr work.
Please use any or all of these materials in any way that is helpful to you.  Act now!
Thank you, thank you, thank you.  
With all my best hopes for our common success, Jeanne (chair of the Coordinating Committee, NRCAT)  
Jeanne E. Herrick-Stare
Senior Fellow for Civil Liberties and Human Rights
Friends Committee on National Legislation
245 Second St., NE
Washington, DC 20002
202-547-6000 x 2513
jeanne at fcnl.org
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