During the last few months, we’ve seen audiences voicing approval when presidential candidates advocate the use of waterboarding and capital punishment. We’ve seen the Obama administration leaking details of its “kill list” because campaign officials seemingly thought this portrait of the president as a killer-in-chief would help his re-election chances. And we’ve seen numerous polls asserting that most Americans believe that torture is always or sometimes justified if it leads terrorism suspects to give up information.
This public acceptance, and misunderstanding, of torture follows years of post-9/11 public statements and memoirs by top government officials arguing for the efficacy of torture techniques, frequent positive portrayals of torture as legitimate and productive in the media and Hollywood and ideas like that floated by Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who famously proposed allowing US judges to issue "torture warrants" to prevent potentially catastrophic terrorist attacks.
Since its formation in 2006, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), has committed itself to challenging these views, and to ending torture sponsored or enabled by the United States.
This month, NRCAT is joining with a grand coalition of religious and human rights groups in a National Week of Action Against Torture, Guantanamo & the National Defense Authorization Act, including a national call-in (6/22), a march in Washington, DC (6/24), and local vigils and tweet-in days (6/26).
Friday, June 22 is National Call-in Day to Congress
Call your Representative to urge support for new legislation that would ban indefinite detention and military commissions from the United States. Take cues from this sample script when making your call.
Sunday, June 24 is the DC March Against Torture, Guantánamo & NDAA
From 1:00 pm to 2:30 people will gather at the Capitol Reflecting Pool for a keynote speech by Dr. Stephen Xenakis, MD (retired Brigadier General, US Army). Sign-up to join the march; Download the flier here; use this sample message to invite your contacts to join the proceedings.
Tuesday, June 26 is International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
There’ll be a National Tweet-in Day to Congress & the White House and a Day of Vigils across the US.
More Ways to Help:
Join NRCAT’s letter-to-the-editor project and become part of a rapid response team.
Order, display and distribute NRCAT banners and bumper stickers.
Participate in the Reckoning with Torture collaborative film project.
Join inter-religious organizations in supporting the Shoulder-to-Shoulder Campaign to end anti-Muslim bigotry.
Support NRCAT with a tax-deductible gift.
Organize screenings of “Hawo’s Dinner Party,” "Solitary Confinement: Torture in Your Backyard" and “Doctors of the Dark Side."