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Oppose Torture (update)

What's happening with Bush's attempt to block passage of the McCain-Graham-Durbin Amendment to stop officially sanctioned torture by the U.S. military, intelligence agencies and U.S.-hired "independent" contractors?

The issue remains hidden behind the scenes since October 7, when the Defense Appropriations Bill was sent back to the House of Representatives from the Senate -- where the anti-torture amendment had been added by a vote of 90-9.

The Senate action to add the anti-torture provision was widely reported as defying the administration and its allies in Congress -- the Republican majority leadership in the House and the Senate.

CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES! ESPECIALLY, Greg Walden (2nd Dist.), Oregon's only Republican representative. In your e-mail, note that Senator Smith, (like Walden, Smith is from Eastern Oregon and is a Republican), was one of the anti-torture amendment's nine co-sponsors in the Senate!

DEMAND THAT THE HOUSE GETS A UP OR DOWN VOTE ON THE AMENDMENT OR ON THE BILL WITH THE AMENDMENT INCLUDED!
Bush earlier attempted to stop the Senate from adding the amendment by threatening to veto the entire bill -- but that didn't work, thanks to public opinion pressure. Senator Kennedy explains the situation this way:

"The President is well aware that his veto would demonstrate beyond any doubt how misguided and unsupportable his agenda is. Therefore, the Administration is attempting to bury the law in the House by persuading the House Republican Leadership to act behind the scenes to delete the anti-torture provisions."

According to the World Socialist Web Site, (October 7, 2005) --

"Bush White House declares torture vital to US security policy" by Patrick Martin

<< In an extraordinary declaration of the brutality of American foreign policy, the Bush administration denounced a Senate vote to bar the use of torture against prisoners held by the US military. Responding to the passage of an amendment to a Pentagon spending bill—approved by an overwhelming 90-9 vote Wednesday, the White House said the proposal would "restrict the president's authority to protect Americans effectively from terrorist attack and bring terrorists to justice."

 link to www.wsws.org

PUBLISHED TODAY AT AMENESTY INTERNATIONAL WEB SITE --

<< Monday, October 17, 2005

<< "Washington Post calls for investigation of detainee allegations of abuse"

<< With the fate of legislation that would establish uniform guidelines for future treatment of detainees still hanging in the balance, The Washington Post asked today: "What about an independent commission investigation of detainees' allegations of torture since 2001?" According to the Post editorial:

<< "We're willing to make a prediction: Some day there will be an exhaustive investigation of how and why prisoners were abused after 2001, and accountability will be assigned to the senior officers and officials who now hide behind their subordinates and inspector generals. Like the internment of ethnic Japanese during World War II or the CIA's involvement in Cold War-era coup plots and assassinations, government acts so at odds with fundamental American standards will eventually be exposed and disowned by our democracy. Yet it would be much better for the legacy of President Bush, and this Republican Congress, if that honest accounting were to begin now, rather than after they have left office. The opportunity exists: Mr. Levin and his amendment are waiting."

 http://blogs.amnestyusa.org/denounce-torture/archive/2005/10/

WHAT TO TELL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES

IF anyone reading this happens to live in Oregon's 2nd Congressional District (Central and Eastern Oregon), please e-mail Oregon's only Republican representative, Greg Walden. In your e-mail, note that Senator Smith, (like Walden, Smith is from Eastern Oregon and is a Republican), was one of the anti-torture amendment's nine co-sponsors in the Senate!

Democrats, for once, are UNITED on this issue and are not even seeking to make a partisan thing out of it. Any Republicans that support officially sanctioned torture need to be told that they will be hounded at all public appearances, harrassed whenever they are on talk radio and, most important, THROWN OUT IN 2006!

Give Greg Walden a chance! Call or e-mail and tell him your opinion of anyone who supports officially sanctioned torture and opposes the McCain Amendment or is thinking of voting for the bill with the amendment deleted! (We all know that some kind of Defense Appropriations Bill will be enacted sometime soon anyway.)

Because the House is solidly in Republican control, Oregon's four Democratic representatives won't carry any clout in the behind-the-scenes activity by the Republican majority leadership. But it wouldn't hurt to contact them anyway and MAKE THIS POINT:

If any of Oregon's representatives find themselves in a situation of having to vote on a conference-approved compromise bill that eliminates the anti-torture amendment, THE VOTERS WILL SUPPORT A "NAY" VOTE ON THE ENTIRE Defense Appropriations Bill ! ! !

If Bush says he will veto the whole thing unless the anti-torture amendment is deleted, then WE THE PEOPLE will veto the whole thing if it is deleted! (We all know that some kind of Defense Appropriations Bill be enacted sometime soon anyway.)

DEMAND THAT THE HOUSE GETS A UP OR DOWN VOTE ON THE AMENDMENT OR ON THE BILL WITH THE AMENDMENT INCLUDED!