Monday, July 20, 2009

Action alert: don't let Defense bill undermine effort to close Guantanamo, end torture and detention

This week, the mammoth Defense Department Authorization bill is on the Senate floor.

This must-pass legislation could easily become a vehicle for amendments to stop the closing of Guantánamo Bay, undermine efforts to hold accountable those responsible for the Bush torture program, and -- most troubling of all -- promote a new system of indefinite detention without charge or trial. In fact, the bill already has language that would allow the Guantánamo military commissions to continue to convict people based on coerced confessions.

Email your senators and tell them not to let the Defense Department Authorization bill become a vehicle for undermining civil liberties.

Your voice and that of hundreds of thousands of other ACLU activists are being heard in Washington. After months and months of pressure and newer, more disturbing revelations, Attorney General Holder is close to appointing a special prosecutor to investigate torture. And we have allies in the White House and in Congress who are committed to cleaning up the mess left by the Bush administration.

There are also some dangerous proposals being considered -- including indefinite detention without charge or trial. That is why it is so critical for you to contact to your senators today and ask them to:

- Support the President's commitment to shutdown Guantánamo by January 2010.

- End Guantánamo military commissions, and charge and try any alleged terrorists in federal criminal courts.

- Totally reject indefinite detention without charge and without trial. Nothing could be more un-American than giving the federal government the power to imprison people indefinitely without charge or trial.

Please help the ACLU create a drumbeat letting Congress and the White House know that Americans want them to move forward. Congress should not codify and expand Bush Administration policies.

Email your senators and tell them not to let the Defense Department Authorization bill become a vehicle for undermining civil liberties.

With critical civil liberties issues about to hit the Senate floor, we have to be as vocal as possible. Please take a moment right now to contact your senators. And please stay alert to fast-moving events in the days ahead.

Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director
American Civil Liberties Union

P.S. The news last weekend that Attorney General Eric Holder is actively considering launching a torture investigation is encouraging. It is because of the hard work of ACLU attorneys and advocates and the voices of activists like you that we are at this point. We’ll be counting on you to make sure he follows through -- and to insist that an investigation is as thorough and far-reaching as it needs to be. Please donate or become a member today.