Letters to the Editor

A nation of laws, not of torture

I have been waiting and waiting to hear front page local news from the new-found patriotic “Teabaggers.” A sense of hope sprung in a fleeting moment at the request of right wing zealots. Where are they now when human rights issues are in the forefront? Silent, ominously silent.

Are 401K’s more important than regard to the heinous acts that the Bush/Cheney administration used to terrorize, torture and yes kill so many? If I took a dog, placed it into a small box and filled that box with insects to crawl and bite that animal I would be viewed as an animal abuser. If I took a cat and slammed its head against the wall again and again I’m sure I would be getting a visit from Carol, Island County Animal Control officer.

What if I took an animal and held it under water till it was gasping for its last breath only to allow it to emerge to catch a breath of life till the next insane torture session? Not only would Carol be outraged but PETA and any decent person would.

Not only were the examples I told used on adults by the last administration but also on children. Under the Geneva Conventions, Section 2441 of Title 18, certain acts are punishable as war crimes. A criminal investigation is warranted.

The Convention Against Torture (CAT) signed into law by President Reagan in 1988 further obligates the U.S. to conduct “prompt and impartial investigation” and “submit the case to competent authorities for the purpose of the prosecutor.”

Whenever there is reasonable grounds to believe that torture has been committed in territory under our jurisdiction or by U.S. nationals the federal anti-torture statute 18 USC 2340A criminalizes torture and the conspiracy to commit torture and creates jurisdiction in the U.S. courts whenever the alleged offender is a national of the U.S. or is present in the U.S.

We are a nation of laws, we the people and our Constitution. Why have so many forgotten this? President Obama has turned the issue over to Attorney General Eric Holder. I am urging all you patriots to call his office, it takes about one minute, at 202-514-2001.

Tell him in the words of Woodrow Wilson, “There are a great many of us who will adhere to that ancient principle that we prefer to be governed by the power of laws, and not by the power of men.” Those who would think differently need to be held accountable.

Mary Petry


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