Save Habeas Corpus Act
NOTE: November Scientific American has articles on nuclear weapons
Can you define torture? President Bush wasn't able to when he was asked this week. How reassuring is his claim that "We don't torture" if he can't say what it is that United States isn't doing?
According to the Justice Department, the U.S. is legally allowed to do things to prisoners that most people would consider torture. In a 2005 secret legal opinion that still defines government practice, the
department said that painful physical abuse -- including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures -- is not cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment and isn't torture.
The U.S. needs to end the word games and secrecy. Congress needs to shine a light on what the CIA is doing to U.S. detainees by restoring the courts' power to independently review the way our government is
treating every single person it holds against their will.
Your senators can help to open a window on torture by supporting and championing the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act (S. 185). Habeas corpus is the right of all prisoners to have a court consider why they are in
prison and how they are being treated. As of mid-October, 32 senators have cosponsored this legislation, and 56 senators voted for the bill on the Senate floor in September. But in today's partisan Senate,
legislation needs 60 votes to come to a vote and avoid a filibuster:
Urge your senators to cosponsor the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act (S. 185). For those who are already cosponsors, ask them to press for action on S. 185. On a crowded Senate calendar, important policy bills
like the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act can be pushed aside unless a significant number of senators are pushing for a floor vote.
Find out if both of your senators are cosponsors:
Find out how they voted in September: