By Debra Sweet
Wednesday, while flying across the country, I was able to watch CNN all day as the news rolled out from the White House that the Obama administration was making an about face, and deciding to fight the court order to release the torture photos. It's an extraordinary story, and people are right to be outraged.
The moment my plane landed in San Francisco, the voice mails, texts, emails began...people thinking about what to do in response. A quick conference call Thursday united World Can't Wait chapters to go Friday to media outlets (FOX in New York; CNN in Atlanta) with the demand:
Release the Torture Photos! Prosecute the War Criminals! Soon, warcriminalswatch.org will have downloads of posters with both the existing torture photos, and the mug shots of the Bush regime deciders, and the torture legal team.
This is a time for a lot of orange in protest, a lot of intiative.
Because I'll tell you, the neo-cons and right wing torture fans are creating public opnion in favor of torture. The Reaganite Accuracy in Media came out with a full page ad in the New York Times today, from the "Torture Truth Project." The ad says it's "A Grassroots Plea To the U.S. New Media. Stop Misleading The World That Our Country Condones Torture." And further, "By your continual use of the word "torture" to describe these interrogation techniques you have been misleading the world that the United States condones techniques of barbarous cruelty. The consequences could be horrendous....We are losing the goodwill of people across the world and you are aiding al Qaida in recruiting terrorists for future attacks on America." (14 May, 2009).
We might think that what's making the people of the world outraged is that the US actually does torture! As to Obama's argument that releasing the photos would unleash "Anti-American" opinion in the world, my inbox is full on that one.
From Cindy Sheehan:"First of all: The Robber Class couldn't care less about our soldiers in the field. Secondly: Being in the field for lies is what endangers them.
Thirdly: It's the existence of torture, which everyone knows about, that endangers our soldiers, not pictures of the torture. Finally: The Democrats are co-equally responsible with the Republicans. They're all war criminals." Cindy pointed out in 2007 that Nancy Pelosi had been briefed on the torture in 2002.
Honolulu Protest: Prosecute Bybee! Hawai'i Crowd Turns out to Protest Jay Bybee, torture memo author and sitting fedearl judge. Cheers to the Honolulu chapter of World Can't Wait, and friends who protested. The war criminals should be getting this kind of a reception everywhere