Down the Road, A Factory’s Choking

I could write you a lengthy exhortation to action or I could urge you forward in a few simple words, but I could not speak more urgently or eloquently than the formidable Digby, issuing this clarion call. The time has come for us to hold our presidential candidates accountable. It’d be great if we could hold our war criminals accountable, but you have to crawl before you can rendition an entire administration to the Hague.

Please read Digby:

Scott Horton has announced a new initiative that I think is hugely important as we move into the general election season. It may be the most important foreign policy agenda item of all and yet it’s one that all the candidates are loath to talk about in any detail and which the press seems determined to let them elude.

In its self-declared war on terror, the Bush Administration overturned an American legacy that stretched back to General Washington’s orders at Trenton and Princeton in 1776. The administration repudiated the order that the first and greatest Republican president issued in the heat of the Civil War, in 1863, prohibiting torture and official cruelty. The consequences have been nothing less than disastrous …

The moral issue hovering over the 2008 election is the Bush Administration’s embrace of torture as a tool of statecraft. This mistake must be thoroughly repudiated, and the nation must undertake a vow never to repeat it. And this issue should not be allowed to divide the nation as a premise of partisan rancor. There is hope in this election year to reverse one of the most fateful decisions in our nation’s history–the decision after 9/11 to disregard America’s historic values and to use torture in the “war on terror.”

All the remaining Presidential candidates–John McCain in the Republican Party, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party–have publicly stated their opposition to the use of torture. Now each of these presidential candidates must get their parties to adopt at their Conventions a party platform plank that returns America to its historic position of absolutely rejecting torture–anywhere, on anyone, for any reason.

The initiative is called No Torture, No Exceptions. As Digby explains, No Torture, No Exceptions means:

Reaffirming America’s commitment to existing federal laws and international treaties that ban torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment under all circumstances.

Renouncing all legal interpretations and executive orders that redefine torture and permit such acts as sensory or sleep deprivation, stress positions, sexual humiliation, mock executions.

Enforcing full transparency of information about how America treats any and all detainees held by our personnel and those in our employ anywhere in the world.

Rejecting and abolishing the practice of rendering detainees abroad.

Establishing a single standard of interrogation procedures to apply to all persons held in U.S. custody or by those under U.S. control, whether C.I.A., military, or civilian.

Treating our detainees as we would have others treat detained Americans.

It’s truly the least we can do.

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