Human rights coalition supports Spanish efforts to prosecute Bush officials
"Spain: Please do what the U.S. won't. Prosecute torturers."
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
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
We sincerely hope that the citizens of Spain and its judiciary will dispel the notion that any country is above the law.
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
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
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