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September 15, 2006 | bpfna
The following is the text of an e-mail appeal sent to BPFNA members and friends on September 14, 2006.
BPFNA is calling on you to speak out in opposition to recently-introduced legislation that changes drastically the way U.S. military commissions conduct trials of "alien unlawful enemy combants". These changes include disregard for a provision of the Geneva Conventions, the decriminalization of brutal interrogation methods and the creation of a judical structure that does not provide for due process.
At the annual meeting at the 2006 Summer Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, BPFNA members endorsed the statement of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), "Torture Is a Moral Issue". Maintaining that all religions believe that torture violates the basic dignity of human beings, the statement calls for the US Congress and Administration to prohibit five activities:
The statement also calls for an independent investigation of the severe human rights abuses at US installation like Guantanamo, AbuGhraib, and Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan.
A CALL TO ACTION
Today, we are calling on you to contact your Senators and Representative urgently to tell them that you oppose the Administration's recently-introduced Military Commission Act of 2006 (S.3861, H.R.6054). From NRCAT, here's a summary of what the Act would do:
1. Guts U.S. support for one of the most important provisions of the Geneva Conventions ("Common Article 3," so-called because the same article is in all four Geneva Conventions).
2. Decriminalizes brutal interrogation methods. Under current law, violations of Common Article 3 are considered "war crimes" that can be prosecuted under the U.S. War Crimes Act.
3. Creates a "Kangaroo Court" system of military courts without due process or genuine judicial oversight. The Supreme Court just struck down the Administration's system because it lacked elements of fairness considered essential "by all civilized nations." Now the Administration is at it again.
(From www.nrcat.org/military_commisions_act.aspx, September 14, 2006.)
The full text of S.3861 as originally introduced can be found at: http://www.congress.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:S.3861:
HOW TO CONTACT
Go to www.house.gov and www.senate.gov to find your Senators and Representative, then follow the links to get information on how to contact them. Mailing addresses and phone numbers should be readily available through links at the top of pages, and you will find forms to use to contact them electronically. Based on your own reaction to the proposed Military Commissions Act, compose a personal response to this issue. Personal messages carry more weight than copied letters.
FIND OUT MORE
To find out more about the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, visit their website at www.nrcat.org.