Trying to get by...
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Salam, Tomorrow at 10 a.m. Human Rights First is holding a special conference call for bloggers to discuss retired CIA operatives’ support for McCain’s ban on mistreatment of detainees. Your hosts will be a former CIA director and the Washington Director of Human Rights First, which is widely recognized for leading the battle to end U.S.-sanctioned torture. The mainstream media has missed an important aspect of the story regarding the McCain amendment: A number of CIA operatives and analysts have said that they do not support a torture exemption to the McCain amendment, as proposed by the Vice President. We are counting on you to report the full story. Tomorrow we will provide up-to-the-minute analysis of the state of the negotiations and make predictions about what more needs to be done to address the problem of prisoner abuse should the McCain amendment pass. To join the call with former CIA Counterterrorism Center Director Vincent Cannistraro and HRF Washington Director Elisa Massimino, please RSVP to Kirsten Powers at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 845-5260. We recently released a letter, signed by more than two dozen former CIA operatives and analysts, that urges the Senate to keep the McCain amendment intact. Click here to view the full text: http://www.humanrightsfirst.info/pdf/051209-etn-cia-mcain.pdf We urge you to join the conference call tomorrow, Wednesday, December 14, 2005 at 10:00am EST. We will discuss the critical McCain amendment and support for the provision in the military and intelligence community. I’ve provided some background information below, and I look forward to hearing from you! Amelia Field On behalf of Human Rights First BACKGROUND The White House and Senate Armed Services Committee member John McCain (R-AZ) are right now negotiating on Sen. McCain’s anti-torture proposal (currently an amendment to both the defense authorization and defense appropriations bills). The White House is trying to weaken the proposal, so it becomes toothless. For example, the Bush Administration has sought to immunize U.S. personnel from any liability for abusing detainees in the past. Sen. McCain is standing firm: he wants his amendment to remain as is. The Administration continues to claim that reserving the right to engage in cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is critical to collecting intelligence and protecting Americans. But those who have been there disagree. Dozens of current and former military leaders and intelligence officials have spoken out to make clear that the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is (1) an ineffective tool for gathering intelligence, (2) morally abhorrent, and (3) counterproductive to U.S. security interests – both endangering U.S. troops if they are captured – and inciting the rising tide of anti-American animosity, especially in Iraq. In October, 29 retired military leaders – including General John Shalikashvili and General Joseph Hoar – expressed their support for the anti-torture amendment in a letter to Sen. McCain, making clear that, “the U.S. should have one standard for interrogating enemy prisoners that is effective, lawful and humane.” Read the letter at http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/us_law/etn/pdf/mccain-100305.pdf.
Posted by PALFORCE at 12/14/2005 01:56:00 AM