Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Rabbis for Human Rights: 'Reject Gonzales -- Repudiate Torture'

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU
 
seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:17 PM
Original message
Rabbis for Human Rights: 'Reject Gonzales -- Repudiate Torture'

1/27/2005 5:35:00 PM

To: Religion Reporter

Contact: Rabbi Brian Walt, 508-696-1880; Rabbi Gerry Serotta, 301-587-2273 ext. 105, both of Rabbis for Human Rights North America; Web: http://www.rhr-na.org

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Rabbis for Human Rights North America, an international rabbinic organization supported by several hundred rabbis from all Jewish denominations, called on members of the Senate Judiciary committee and all U.S. Senators to reject nomination of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General and to "completely repudiate and prohibit torture for any purpose in any instance."

The rabbis express deep concern that "that America's longstanding moral commitment and policies are being altered to remove the prohibition against torture of detainees in United States' custody." They write, "While the pictures from Abu Ghraib are shocking, most disturbing is that the documents that have been made public demonstrate that the use of torture has been approved at the highest levels of the administration, that commanders in the field have permitted much of this behavior, that directives from the Department of Defense appear to advocate the use of torture, and that even today the position of the Administration is that the members of Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups are not covered by the provisions of the Geneva Convention."

Citing the fundamental Biblical tenet that all human beings are created in God's image the rabbis describe how "torture shatters and defiles God's image." Drawing on Jewish ethical teachings regarding interpersonal humiliation and relationship to one's enemy they explain how torture violates central Jewish values. "Torture 'works' by attempting to deprive a human being of will, spirit, and personal dignity. The humanity of the perpetrators is inevitably compromised by the use of torture."

Pointing to the experience of Israel, they highlight that even in that country, where terror against men, women and children has become part of daily life, the Israeli Supreme Court has clearly prohibited the use of torture.

Rabbis for Human Rights North America joined a coalition of religious and human rights groups that expressed deep concern to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the Gonzales nomination and asked the committee to conduct a thorough investigation. The evasive and unclear responses of Mr. Gonzales at the hearing and his refusal to repudiate the use of torture, led the rabbis to call for the rejection of his nomination. Rabbi Gerry Serotta, Chair of Rabbis for Human Rights said, "Unless Mr. Gonzales commits himself to appoint an independent special counsel to investigate the development and implementation of U.S. interrogation and torture policies and to fully release all torture-related documents, the Senate should reject his nomination."
more
http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=42272
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. And the Hispanic caucus declines to endorse the torturer.
According to Drudge.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. another source
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
2. They are doing a lot of good by making their beliefs on torture known.
Glad to hear the following, from your article:
Pointing to the experience of Israel, they highlight that even in that country, where terror against men, women and children has become part of daily life, the Israeli Supreme Court has clearly prohibited the use of torture.
I truly didn't know this.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 03:12 AM
Response to Reply #2
12. I learned that from an Al Gore speech
He said:

Listen to the way Israel's highest court dealt with a similar question when, in 1999, it was asked to balance due process rights against dire threats to the security of its people:

"This is the destiny of democracy, as not all means are acceptable to it, and not all practices employed by its enemies are open before it. Although a democracy must often fight with one hand tied behind its back, it nonetheless has the upper hand. Preserving the Rule of Law and recognition of an individual's liberty constitutes an important component in its understanding of security. At the end of the day they (add to) its strength."

I want to challenge the Bush Administration's implicit assumption that we have to give up many of our traditional freedoms in order to be safe from terrorists.

Because it is simply not true.

http://www.alternet.org/story/17156


He was quoting Justice Barak in a case called The Public Committee Against Torture v. The State of Israel, HJC 5100/94. Here are some links:

http://62.90.71.124/files_eng/94/000/051/a09/94051000.a...

And in pdf format: http://www.law.yale.edu/outside/pdf/Alumni_Affairs/tort...

HJC 5100/94 was included in a booklet by Justice Barak called "Judgements of the Israeli Supreme Court: Fighting Terrorism within the Law."

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Law/Legal+Issues+a...

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Politics/sc... (scroll down for the booklet in pdf format.

Finally, The Public Committe Against Torture in Israel.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
iamjoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
4. WOW
"Torture 'works' by attempting to deprive a human being of will, spirit, and personal dignity."


I think that is the key line. It is torture whether we are putting detainees in danger or organ failure/death or having a prostitute menstruate on them. The purpose of the latter is to destroy the will of detainees and that makes it torture. Of course, Rush Limbaugh would probably say there are people in the U.S. who pay for that sort of sick thrill, therefore it isn't torture.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
5. On Day of Gonzales Confirmation Vote, New Web Video on Torture
On Day of Gonzales Confirmation Vote, New Web Video on Torture Urges Senators to Vote No on Attorney General Nominee

1/26/2005 8:24:00 AM


To: National Desk

Contact: Tioka Tokedira, 212-845-5246 or tokedirat@humanrightsfirst.org ; Sean Crowley 202-478-6128 or scrowley@mrss.com, both for Human Rights First

NEW YORK, Jan. 26 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A new, two-minute web video from Human Rights First shows how the nominee for Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, played a central role as White House Counsel in formulating policies that opened the door to abuses that took place at Abu Ghraib and in other U.S. detention facilities. The video was developed to educate viewers about Mr. Gonzales' role in the torture scandal leading up to the Senate Judiciary Committee vote on his confirmation scheduled for today (Wednesday, January 26) and the full Senate soon afterward.

The video - "How Did We Get Here?" - provides viewers with an opportunity to email their Senators, urging them to vote No on the Gonzales' nomination (the video can be viewed at: http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/us_law/etn/video/index.... ). The video's release comes two days after Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights), the first Hispanic Air National Guard officer appointed as an adjutant general in the United States, Major General Melvyn Montano (Ret. USAF National Guard), and two Hispanic Stanford Law School professors announced their opposition to Mr. Gonzales' nomination (see news release at http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/media/2005_alerts/etn_0... pp.htm). Human Rights First has only once before in its 27-year history opposed a presidential nominee.

"We created this short video to help promote a broader public debate on the Gonzales nomination and the role he played in relaxing legal safeguards against torture and abuse," said Michael Posner, the Executive Director of Human Rights First. "Mr. Gonzales approved a definition of torture so narrow that much of the barbarism we saw in the photos from Abu Ghraib would have been beyond the law to punish. He has contended that U.S. personnel are exempt from the ban on cruel and degrading practices that has been binding U.S. treaty law for more than a decade. And he has embraced the radical view that the President has the power to ignore laws passed by the nation's representatives in Congress. Such views are anathema to the rule of law and human rights - both of which the United States has pledged to protect."
more
http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=42145
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
6. NCJW Opposes Gonzales Nomination
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2005

<snip> "Based on his record as White House counsel, the National Council of Jewish Women was deeply concerned by the nomination of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General when it was first announced. The recently completed Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on this nomination only served to confirm our reservations about his suitability to assume the leadership of the Justice Department. As a result, we believe that Judge Gonzales should not be confirmed as Attorney General.

"As White House Counsel, Judge Gonzales played an integral role in selecting federal judicial nominees, personally shepherding through the confirmation process numerous judges who were strongly opposed to reproductive rights, as well as other fundamental freedoms.

"NCJW is appalled at the widespread use of torture of prisoners and detainees by US military personnel, a practice resulting from an administration policy developed by Judge Gonzales without regard to long-standing international law. His subsequent defense of these policies during his confirmation process illustrates that he is unsuitable to be the nation's top law enforcement official.

"Also during the confirmation hearings and in his responses to Senators' written questions, Judge Gonzales was evasive about his views on key civil rights and liberties issues. In particular we are troubled by his responses to written questions about medical privacy. He defended the Justice Department's actions in subpoenaing the medical records of women who had undergone late-term abortions, a position which may presage future Justice Department policy regarding medical privacy. <snip>

http://www.civilrights.org/issues/enforcement/details.c...

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
7. He passed the Judicial Committee on Party lines. All Repugs voted "for"
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 08:54 PM by w4rma
All Dems voted "against". 10-8, I believe.

And so far I haven't heard a single Democrat say they would vote for Gonzales in the full Senate. I think he can be defeated. But I think the Republican Party will have to be shamed into it. Need to shame some Republicans into breaking from their leadership. Every single Republican up there will vote for the guy if they think they can get away with it. They have the majority so every Dem can vote against this freak but he'll still be seated.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
8. "Alberto R. Gonzales- Memos to Bush-Judge for Yourself"
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 09:32 PM by bobthedrummer
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Wikipedia:Abu Ghraib Prisoner Abuse
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Thanks bob, is the Bybee memo there?
As soon as the BNL case broke, President Bush I moved to throttle the investigation. He appointed lawyers from both Cardoen and Matrix to top Justice Department posts--where they supervised the officials investigating their old companies. Meanwhile, White House aides applied heavy pressure on other prosecutors to restrict the range of the probe--especially the fact that Bush cabinet officials Brent Scowcroft and Lawrence Eagleburger had served as consultants for BNL during their pre-White House days as spear-carriers for yet another secretive international front that profits from war, weapons, etc., etc.: Kissinger Associates.

Which brings us to the judicial appointment. One of the White House aides who unlawfully intervened in the BNL prosecution was a certain factotum named Jay S. ByBee. Last week, said factotum was nominated by the current warmer of the Oval Office seat, George W. Bush, to a place on the federal appeals court--a lifetime sinecure of perks and power. Well done, thou good and faithful servant!

And the commodities connection? President Pretzel's relentless hissy-fit for war on Iraq has of course goosed the price of gold enormously--and that's set Bush Family coffers a-clinking. How so? In the waning days of his failed presidency, Bush I invoked an obscure 1872 statute to give a Canadian firm, Barrick Corporation, the right to mine $10 billion in gold from U.S. public lands. (U.S. taxpayers got a whopping $10,000 fee in return.) Bush then joined Barrick as a highly-paid "international consultant," brokering deals with various dictators of his close acquaintance. Barrick reciprocated with big bucks for Junior's presidential run. And in another quid for the old pro quo, last year Junior dutifully approved Barrick's controversial acquisition of a major rival. (Barrick is also one of the biggest polluters in America, by the way.)
http://www.counterpunch.org/floyd02152003.html
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I can't say right now, slad.
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 09:57 PM by bobthedrummer
I've been jamming and partying with a musician from Toronto.
:hi:
But I'm deadset against Gonzales as our my Wisconsin Senators, Kohl and Feingold.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Apr 23rd 2014, 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC