Sample Letter to Attorney General Eric Holder

Before the September 11 attacks, the United States condemned torture, protested secret tribunals, decried disappearances, and challenged secret and arbitrary detentions. But a growing public record of official documents and testimonies makes undeniably clear that prisoners were tortured, abused, and in some cases even killed in U.S. custody since 9/11, and that officials at the very highest levels of our government authorized and encouraged the mistreatment.

Although the record of abuse is growing clearer, the Obama administration—by fighting to keep secret documents that would allow the public to better understand the torture program, and seeking to extinguish lawsuits brought by torture survivors—has gradually become an obstacle to accountability for torture. The U.S.’s failure to address and redress torture undermines the rule of law in the United States and weakens our ability to encourage and spread support for the rule of law internationally.

Demand accountability now.

Attorney General Eric Holder U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001

Investigate the Bush Torture Program

Dear Attorney General Holder, I applaud your commitment to restoring the rule of law by appointing an independent prosecutor to investigate the use of torture and other due process violations carried out in the name of anti-terrorism and national security. I am writing to encourage you to ensure that the investigation is complete. I believe that it is imperative that the American people have an accurate record of the abuses that have occurred and an understanding of how those abuses were tolerated or encouraged. We will never achieve true accountability by limiting the scope of the investigation and overlooking those who commissioned and authorized these illegal acts—some at the highest level of our government. Only by thoroughly investigating the crimes that were committed in America’s name and holding accountable those who authorized torture can we move forward and ensure that these abuses are not repeated. I therefore call for a full and thorough investigation of torture that follows the evidence—wherever it may lead. Thank you for your attention to this critical matter.

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