• Letter to Senators Warner and Allen re: Torture

    June 8, 2004 Letter to Senators Warner and Allen

    James Landrith
    PO Box 8208
    Alexandria, VA 22306-8208

    June 8, 2004

    The Honorable John William Warner
    United States Senate
    225 Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510-4601

    The Honorable George F. Allen
    United States Senate
    204 Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510-4604

    Dear Senators Warner and Allen:

    As a former Marine and Gulf War veteran, I am writing to strongly encourage you to support Senator Richard Durbin’s (D-IL) amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill, which would reaffirm the United States’ commitment to the Convention Against Torture, an agreement the U.S. previously ratified.

    As a party to the Convention Against Torture, the United States should honor the obligations required by it, including the section that states that no person in the custody of United States authorities be subjected to “cruel, unusual and inhumane treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and/or Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States,” a pledge that President Bush himself confirmed American commitment to in June 2003.

    But the recent abuse of detainees in Iraq suggests that a reaffirmation of this commitment is necessary from the Congress of the United States. The amendment introduced by Senator Durbin would construct a coherent, consistent policy to ensure that those detained by U.S. authorities be treated humanely and in concert with the United States’ previous obligations.

    If passed, this amendment would serve three purposes: it would ensure the rights of detainees; it would help reestablish world opinion of the United States; and it would help protect American service men and women who find themselves prisoners of war in current or future conflicts.

    I strongly urge you to support this measure.


    James Landrith

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