Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Alberto Gonzales and Torture

From moveon.org:
Subject: Say No to Torture Dear friend, I hate to start the New Year with bad news, but the Senate is about to consider Alberto Gonzales' nomination to become Attorney General, replacing John Ashcroft. Gonzales is the White House counsel notorious for opening the door to torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisons. Senators should view the Gonzales nomination very skeptically, given this radical history. As part of the upcoming hearings, we can call on Senators to ask Gonzales to unequivocally renounce torture as an instrument of American policy. Join me in asking Gonzales and Senators to prohibit torture by clicking here: http://www.moveon.org/gonzales/ Thanks.
It's just a petition, but it won't hurt.


  1. >It's just a petition, but it won't hurt.

    Actually, it might, in that a person signing the petiton will feel they have 'done something', when in reality, they have not. Online petitions are next to worthless (as noted previously). If one feels strongly enough to want to do something, a much better approach would be to print up the petition verbiate, then sign it and physically mail it to one's senators.


  2. Well, for one thing, this petition is for Gonzoles, not for the Senate. As I understand it, the guy's going to definitely get confirmed, so he's the one whose policy I'm concerned with influencing.

    And as far as I'm concerned, the most powerful tool we have against things so obviously heinous as government-sponsored torture is public awareness. It's less the signing of the petition, and more the recognition of the issue, that is at stake. Signing the petition is a public affirmation of what we believe in -- it's sort of like voting in that respect. And, like voting, the signing itself isn't likely to make much difference. It's the policy that matters; and in a pseudo-democracy, public awareness and understanding of important issues influences policy in important ways.

    I *think* that the American public knows that it's wrong for the government to be torturing people. I do not think that it knows how much Gonzoles is out of step with their values in this respect. That's why this sort of thing is important.

  3. AmnestyUSA's Online Action Center suggested that we call our senators who are on the Judiciary Committee and request that they demand serious answers from Gonzales. Anyone who is a Texas voter may wish to call Sen. John Cornyn's office today. Points to mention in the phone message can be found in Amnesty's suggested letter: http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/action/index.asp?step=2&item=11433. - Shari