Extraordinary rendition is a loathsome practice. If we have grounds to think that someone is a terrorist, we ought to charge that person and try him or her in a court of law. If we do not have enough evidence to bring charges, our response should be to try to develop some, not to ship that person off to another country to be tortured. This is completely inconsistent with our respect for the rule of law, and with our claim to basic decency. It is unworthy of our country, and it should be banned.
Representative Markey’s bill has 52 co-sponsors. 51 are Democrats, and 1 is independent.
I’m not an idiot. I know that this bill will never pass in this Congress. But I’d like to see at least one Republican co-sponsor for this bill.
I’m going to ask that readers politely contact Connecticut moderate Republican Christopher Shays, who might be open to persuasion. His phone number in DC is 202-225-5541. In Bridgeport, CT, it’s 203-579-5870. He can be emailed from this page. My letter, which you can adapt or just use, is under the fold. Thank you in advance.
I am writing to try to persuade you to co-sponsor H.R.952, Rep. Edward Markey’s effort to ban the practice of “extraordinary rendition”. As you may know, this is the practice of extraditing suspected terrorists to foreign countries, and placing them in the custody of jailers that we have reason to believe will torture them.
The bill currently has no Republican co-sponsors. I strongly believe that opposition to torture ought to be a bipartisan value. Torture is clearly inconsistent with principles popular among Republicans, principles of rule of law, international human rights, and Christian compassion. Conservative Catholic Mark Shea recently wrote that torture was “intrinsically evil” and could not be supported. Ronald Reagan inspired a generation with his vision of America as “a shining city on a hill.” Surely such a city wouldn’t condone the torture of human beings. Surely a country that would condone torture is less likely to inspire a new wave of democracy in the Middle East.
There is no inconsistency between strong defense and opposition to torture. The military leadership is consistently resisting calls for the torture of prisoners. Relying on the good word of Syrian torturers for our military intelligence seems utterly insane.
Please show leadership in the Republican caucus and co-sponsor H.R.952.