torture is wrong

opposing torture through activism and education


The Torture Memos

After a five year fight - here they are!

A 18-page memo [PDF], dated August 1, 2002, from Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA.

A 46-page memo [PDF], dated May 10, 2005, from Steven Bradbury, Acting Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA.

A 20-page memo [PDF], dated May 10, 2005, from Steven Bradbury, Acting Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA.

A 40-page memo [PDF], dated May 30, 2005, from Steven Bradbury, Acting Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA.

The Banner Project

I started the banner project in 2005 in Austin, TX.  In 2008 I partnered with The National Religious Campaign Against Torture. Over 500 banners have been displayed in all 50 states. Take a look

Detainee Photos: Obama Seeks To Block Release PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 May 2009 17:23

Article here

Letter to The Philadelphia Inquirer on the hiring of John Yoo PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 May 2009 07:02

Hi Friends – as you know the Philadelphia Inquirer has hired John Yoo as a columnist. This is my letter to them. You can write to them as well. Here is the link that shows you how. 

Dear Editor,

In hiring John Yoo as a columnist, you have given him a platform to advocate for torture and to continue his campaign to absolve himself of any responsibility for the torture policy he helped create. Until the past eight years, torture was not an “issue” and there was no “debate” about it. It ,along with slavery and genocide, is considered “jus cogens”, a crime so beyond the pale that it is always considered illegal.  It was and remains illegal in both American law and international law to which America is signatory.

A concerted political juggernaut of  obfuscation, baseless assertions, lies and damn lies has been very successful in convincing large portions of the public that euphemisms like “enhanced interrogation techniques” are not torture and that torture has been effective in protecting national security. This has had the cumulative effect of normalizing what is ineffective, illegal and a moral catastrophe.

In hiring John Yoo, The Philadelphia Inquirer is contributing to the normalization of torture.

With sincerity, disgust and absolutely no surprise at all,

Bonnie Tamres- Moore

Applicable International and American Law

“Geneva Conventions” – ratified by the U.S. 1955  “Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture”

  •  “United Nations Convention Against Torture” - ratified by the U.S. 1994 “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture”
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights - ratified by the U.S. 1948
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights - ratified by the U.S. 1992
  • Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
  • The Constitution
    • Amendment IV – Probable Cause
    • Amendment V – Due Process
    • Amendment VI – Speedy Trial by jury of peers
    • Amendment VIII – No cruel and unusual punishment
  • The Army Field Manual “It is a violation of the Geneva Convention to place a prisoner under physical or mental duress, torture or any other form of coercion in an effort to secure information.”
  • Uniform Code of Military Justice
  • The McCain Amendment, signed into law in 2005 (which says that soldiers must treat prisoners according to the rules delineated in the Army Field Manual) President Bush  attached a signing statement to the McCain Amendment which stated that he may disregard it.
  • The 1996 War Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. § 2441) (makes not following Geneva 3 a crime)
  •  The Federal Anti-Torture Statute (18 U.S.C. § 2340A), enacted in 1994, provides for the prosecution of a U.S. national or anyone present in the United States who, while outside the U.S., commits or attempts to commit torture.
Obama administration threatens Britain to keep torture evidence concealed PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 May 2009 19:40

Glenn Greenwald, Salon


Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic


Philadelphia Inquirer hires John Yoo as a columnist PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 May 2009 19:39

Read about it here

Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi Has Died PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 May 2009 21:50

Read about it here

Americans split over investigating torture allegations PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 May 2009 18:17

The poll is here

from those wonderful guys who gave us the Military Commissions Act PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 May 2009 19:19

How to Handle the Guantanamo Detainees by John McCain and Lindsey Graham - Wall Street Journal


Captain Kangaroo Court PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 May 2009 11:19

The Word - on the Cobert Report 

Still laughing....

Memo to President Obama on Torture from Veteran Intelligence Professionals For Sanity PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 May 2009 10:31

Read it here

Charges Seen as Unlikely for Lawyers Over Interrogations PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 May 2009 21:27

WASHINGTON — An internal Justice Department inquiry into the conduct of Bush administration lawyers who wrote secret memorandums authorizing brutal interrogations has concluded that the authors committed serious lapses of judgment but should not be criminally prosecuted, according to government officials briefed on a draft of the findings.

Commentary on same by Brian Tamanaha at Balkinization

Commentary on same by Marc Ambinder at Atlantic

Ostensibly, Yoo, an attorney for the Office of Legal Counsel and Bybee, that section's chief, were tasked by Attorney General John Ashcroft with determining whether so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" violated U.S. law and treaty obligations.  But a draft report, prepared by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Review,  suggests that, at the direction of the White House, the OLC worked to justify a policy that had already been determined and did not begin their inquiry from a neutral position.

It is not clear -- and sources would not say -- who in the White House communicated with the two lawyers about the memos, and it is not clear whether Yoo or Bybee felt unduly pressured to provide a legal framework for a decision already made by senior administration officials.

The AP reported that an early version of the draft recommended that the California State Bar Association seek the disbarment of Yoo, now a Berkeley law professor, and Bybee, an appellate judge. A  Justice Department official said that the final decision had not been made.


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