Thursday, November 21, 2013

Activists want copy of torture report.

Friends, Let us know if you can sign on to this letter. Also tell us if you are interested in delivering this letter to Sen. Mikulski’s Baltimore office. It was planned to deliver the letter on November 22, but her office will be closed. Can you be available for a letter delivery on November 26? Thanks for giving this your consideration. Kagiso, Max Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore/Fund Our Communities, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 Email mobuszewski at; Phone 410-366-1637 Senator Barbara Mikulski 901 S. Bond Street Suite 310 Baltimore, MD 21231 November ??, 2013 Honorable Senator Mikulski: We are members of the Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore/Fund Our Communities, and are deeply concerned that our government engaged in torture authorized by the Bush administration. Fortunately, an investigation was undertaken and a report was produced. We are baffled that this report remains classified. We are sure that the reason given is “national security.” However, we refuse to accept such a notion and suspect the reason is to protect those who authorized torture and those who did the torturing. As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, you have had access to the torture report. As your constituents we believe we should also have access. Because our government engaged in torture, its image was tarnished. Obviously, it would be hypocritical for government officials to criticize another country for human rights violations. The best approach to resolving this issue is to acknowledge in detail as to what happened. As you know, the Nazi government was prosecuted after World War II. These war crimes tribunals exposed the Holocaust and other awful crimes. It can be argued that due to this exposure, Germany actually benefitted. As we understand, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence approved the nearly 6,000-page report in December 2012. A bipartisan group determined that the U.S. did utilize torture on detainees after 9/11 and concluded it was ineffective as an information gathering tool. It is still grating to remember that Vice President Cheney referred to torture as “enhanced interrogation.” Today, there is much mistrust of our federal government, and some of it is well-placed. To rebuild trust in the government, legislators should promote transparency, rather than secrecy. Because of the failure of legislators to provide oversight, for example, citizens are victims of the National Security Agency’s rampant and illegal surveillance program. Instead we have had to depend upon courageous whistleblowers such as Thomas Drake, Bradley, now Chelsea, Manning and Edward Snowden to discover the extent of these illegal activities. So we would appreciate obtaining a copy of the torture report. You are aware that Vice President Joe Biden came out in favor of declassifying this secret report. Please respond to our request as soon as possible. Should you indicate that you cannot provide a copy of the torture report, then we would appreciate a meeting to discuss this matter with you. Thank you very much for considering our request. In peace, Max Obuszewski, on behalf of the Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore/Fund Our Communities Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to "The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

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