VT Joins with U.S. Groups to Encourage Spain Prosecute Bush Officials

22
952

“Please Do What the U.S. Won’t. Prosecute Torturers.”

Dozens of U.S. human rights groups will present an open letter to the Spanish public to consulates and Madrid officials on Valentine’s Day. They will encourage support of Spanish courts in prosecuting U.S. officials who authorized torture.

  • What: By appointment will deliver the letter and flowers to the consul general or ambassador on Valentine’s Day, a celebrated holiday in Spain.
  • When: Monday February 14. Valentine’s Day. Meetings scheduled throughout day. Details at http://rootsaction.org
  • Where: Spanish Consulates in New York, Boston, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami.   Spanish Embassy, 2375 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington D.C.,  LOCATION TBD, Madrid

March 1 is the deadline set by Spanish Judge Eloy Velasco to determine if he will prosecute the “Bush Six” – the group of Bush-era government lawyers including former White House Counsel and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, for violating international law by creating a “legal” justification for torture.  It was a court in Spain that indicted Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

The Obama administration declared last year that it would not pursue prosecutions, ignoring the U.N. Convention Against Torture. Recent documents released by WikiLeaks demonstrate that the Obama government has been heavily pressuring Spanish authorities not to pursue prosecution.

“The Obama administration has been pressuring Spain not to proceed, and thus let the Bush administration actions stand. But justice must be served.” –Coleen Rowley, former FBI agent.

On Valentine’s Day, representatives from groups will deliver copies of an open letter to the Spanish public, to the embassy of Spain in Washington, and the Spanish consulates in seven US cities, to thank and encourage Spain to prosecute the cases. They will fundraise to place billboards and ads in Spain.

This action comes just days after former President George W. Bush cancelled plans to travel to Switzerland after he learned the Center for Constitutional Rights and Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights sought indictment of him there for torture. George Bush has openly admitted authorizing waterboarding on national television, explaining that “the lawyer” said it was legal.

More details on http://rootsaction.org


Partner organizations behind this effort include CodePink Women for Peace, High Road for Human Rights, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, National Accountability Action Network, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, Pax Christi USA, Progressive Democrats of America, Psychologists for Social Responsibility, Robert Jackson Steering Committee, RootsAction.org, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, Tackling Torture at the Top Committee of Women Against Military Madness, Veterans for Peace, Voters for Peace, War Criminals Watch, WarIsACrime.org, WeThePeopleNow.org, and World Can’t Wait.

 

Additional signers include: Amnesty International USA, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Council for the National Interest, Democrats.com, Fellowship on Reconciliation, United for Peace and Justice, Velvet Revolution, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, War Resisters League, and Witness Against Torture.

To the people of Spain

From the people of the United States of America

We are writing to thank you and to ask for your support as your courts consider cases to bring American officials to justice for the crime of torture.  A Spanish judge, acting under international law, will soon decide whether to investigate US officials’ roles in authorizing torture. We hope you agree that such cases must go forward, despite pressure from the Obama administration to drop them.

The organizations signing this letter represent hundreds of thousands in the American public who believe the US government must be held to the same rule of law as other countries. We are profoundly disappointed that our own government refuses to prosecute former officials, despite open admissions and government documents showing that they approved torture.

It will take a public show of support for the case to withstand pressures from Washington.  WikiLeaks cables show the extremes to which U.S. officials have gone to thwart any attempt by Spain or other countries to uphold justice.  We applaud the courage shown by Spanish officials who insist on giving priority to the rule of law.

Despite earlier assertions by President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder that waterboarding is torture, former President George W. Bush publicly stated three times last year that he authorized waterboarding and added proudly that he would do it again.  In a TV interview aired on November 8, Bush said he considered waterboarding legal “because the lawyer said it was legal.”  Waterboarding and other forms of torture were banned by the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, ratified by the United States in 1994.

If international law is to serve any useful purpose, other countries must condemn violations “by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment,” in the words of the chief prosecutor at Nuremberg.

We sincerely hope that the citizens of Spain and its judiciary will dispel the notion that any country is above the law.

Signed,
Code Pink Women for Peace, High Road for Human Rights, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, National Accountability Action Network, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, Pax Christi USA, Progressive Democrats of America, Psychologists for Social Responsibility, Robert Jackson Steering Committee, RootsAction.org, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, Tackling Torture at the Top Committee of Women Against Military Madness, Veterans for Peace, Voters for Peace, War Criminals Watch, WarIsACrime.org, WeThePeopleNow.org, and World Can’t Wait.

Along with:
Amnesty International USA, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Council for the National Interest, Democrats.com, Fellowship on Reconciliation, United for Peace and Justice, Velvet Revolution, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, War Resisters League, and Witness Against Torture.

http://rootsaction.org


A la gente de España, de la gente de los EEUU

Escribimos para agradecerles y para solicitar su apoyo mientras sus cortes consideran procesos contra oficiales norteamericanos por el crimen de haber autorizado la tortura. Conforme con la ley internacional, un juez español pronto decidirá si va a investigar la complicidad de oficiales estadounidenses en tal autorización. Esperamos que Uds. estén de acuerdo que estos casos deben seguir, pese a  las presiones por la administración de Obama para abandonarlos.

Las organizaciones que firman abajo representan a cientos de miles de personas en los EEUU que creen que el gobierno estadounidense debe obedecer las mismas leyes como otro paises. Sentimos profundamente desanimados que nuestro gobierno rehusa procesar a los ex-oficiales aunque sus plenas declaraciones y los documentos gubernamentales manifiestan que autorizaron la tortura.

Se requiere una amplia y pública manifestación en favor del caso para resistir las presiones desde Washington.  Los cables de WikiLeaks demuestran el afán vehemente de los oficiales estadounidenses para prevenir cualquier intento por España y otros países para sostener la justicia. Aplaudimos el coraje de los oficiales españoles que insisten en defender el estado de derecho.

Pese a las anteriores afirmaciones del Presidente Barack Obama y del Procurador General Eric Holder que el “waterboarding” (ahogo simulado) es tortura, el ex-presidente George W. Bush dijo públicamente  tres veces el año pasado que autorizó el waterboarding y añadió orgullosamente que lo haría de nuevo. En una entrevista transmitida en televisión el 8 de nov., dijo Bush que consideró el waterboarding legal “porque asi dijo el abogado.” El waterboarding y otros métodos de tortura se abolieron por  la Convención de las Naciones Unidas Contra Tortura y Otros Tratamientos y  Castigos Crueles, Inhumanos, y Degradantes, ratificada por los EEUU en 1994.

Para que la ley internacional tenga alguna eficacia, los otros países deben condenar las violaciones “por otras naciones, incluyendo aquellos que ahora juzgan,” según las palabras del acusador estadounidense en Nuremberg.

Esperamos sinceramente que los ciudadanos y la magistratura de España  refuten la idea que cualquier país puede violar la ley.

En solidaridad,

Code Pink Women for Peace, High Road for Human Rights, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, National Accountability Action Network, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, Pax Christi USA, Progressive Democrats of America, Psychologists for Social Responsibility, Robert Jackson Steering Committee, RootsAction.org, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, Tackling Torture at the Top Committee of Women Against Military Madness, Veterans for Peace, Voters for Peace, War Criminals Watch, WarIsACrime.org, WeThePeopleNow.org, and World Can’t Wait.

Along with:
Amnesty International USA, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Council for the National Interest, Democrats.com, Fellowship on Reconciliation, United for Peace and Justice, Velvet Revolution, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, War Resisters League, and Witness Against Torture.

Available for Interviews:

  • Aimee Allison with RootsAction [email protected] 510.343.4019 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 510.343.4019 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
  • David Swanson with WarIsACrime.org [email protected] 202.329.7847 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 202.329.7847 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
  • Coleen Rowley of Tackling Torture at the Top Committee of Women Against Military Madness [email protected] 952-456-0186Ray McGovern of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity [email protected] 703-994-1459 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 703-994-1459 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
  • Stephen Soldz of Psychologists for Social Responsibility [email protected] 619-663-5840 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 619-663-5840 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
  • Andrea LeBlanc of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows [email protected]
  • Rocky Anderson of High Road for Human Rights [email protected]
  • Medea Benjamin of Code Pink Women for Peace [email protected] 415-235-6517 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 415-235-6517 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
  • Dennis Lane of Veterans for Peace [email protected]
  • Kevin Zeese of Voters for Peace [email protected] 301-996-6582 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 301-996-6582 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
  • Debra Sweet of War Criminals Watch [email protected] 718-809-3803 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 718-809-3803 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
  • Susan Harman of Progressive Democrats of America, [email protected] 510-866-6743 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 510-866-6743 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
  • Marie Dennis of Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns [email protected]
  • Sister Dianna Ortiz, Pax Christi USA (U.S.-Guatemala torture survivor) [email protected] (202) 276-8118 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 276-8118 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

ATTENTION READERS
Due to the nature of independent content, VT cannot guarantee content validity.
We ask you to Read Our Content Policy so a clear comprehension of VT's independent non-censored media is understood and given its proper place in the world of news, opinion and media.

All content is owned by author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images within are full responsibility of author and NOT VT.

About VT - Read Full Policy Notice - Comment Policy