The Honorable Tim Ryan
1421 Longworth HOB
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Ryan:
I am writing about an issue which I believe is troubling to every American aware of it and would trouble many more if more were aware of it. That issue is torture.
The Military Commissions Act of 2006 has been used to justify a number of human rights abuses by the United States Government throughout the world. Bypassing recourse to due process of law, agents of our government have arrested and engaged in activity prohibited by the Geneva Convention (of which our nation is a signatory) meant to physically and emotionally harm and cause great pain to men and women whose guilt has not even been established.
Even in cases where guilt is established, these practices are still inhumane and jeopardize any remaining claim that our nation has to moral leadership.
It has been argued by some that these practices are necessary to defend our nation. However, I would be happy to provide research from the psychological and psychiatric journals that show that most information learned as a result of torture is both inaccurate and often deliberately counter-productive. Furthermore, if we believe that violence is a moral issue, then those who engage in torture can be no more ethically justified than those who engage in the very terrorism that torture supposedly prevents.
Please make a motion in the House to repeal the Military Commissions Act of 2006. While some progress was made in mitigating its worst features in the 2009 Amendments, the American Civil Liberties Union pointed out that it still allows for inhumane conduct without regard for due process of law and that only complete repeal of the act would provide a truly just and legal framework for these matters.
For more information about torture, its consequences and its ethical gravity, please visit the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition’s website at www.tassc.org.