Sunday, October 26, 2008

ACLU's Hundred Day Plan: Stop U.S. Torture, Abuse

From the ACLU's Actions for Restoring America, here is Day 1:

DAY ONE: STOP TORTURE, CLOSE GUANTANAMO, END EXTRAORDINARY RENDITIONS

The next president will have a historic opportunity -- on day one -- to take very important steps to restore the rule of law in the interrogation and detention of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, Afghanistan, and in secret prisons around the globe. Every action taken pursuant to an executive order of President Bush can be reversed by executive order of the next president.

Therefore, on the first day in office, the next president should issue an executive order directing all agencies to modify their policies and practices immediately to:
Cease and prohibit the use of torture and abuse, without exception, and direct the Attorney General immediately after his or her confirmation to appoint an outside special counsel to investigate and, if warranted, prosecute any violations of federal criminal laws prohibiting torture and abuse;

Close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and either charge and try detainees under criminal law in federal criminal courts or before military courts-martial or transfer them to countries where they will not be tortured or detained without charge;

Cease and prohibit the practice of extraordinary rendition, which is the transfer of persons, outside of the judicial process, to other countries, including countries that torture or abuse prisoners.

I agree with the focus of this plan of action.

The Bush administration's legacy of torture and human rights abuses will be the most difficult and ugly blemish on America's credibility to address in the long and short-term.

The next President must take immediate, remedial action.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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