Although it is not in the news − this week, the US Senate is debating if it will set up an independent inquiry into wrongdoing under Bush's War on Terror. This is big!
Such an investigation could have massive global consequences, and if properly set up would have the power to find out what really happened in Guantanamo Bay and it could reach all the way up the chain of command.
If enough of us around the world make clear to the US Government that we support an effective and powerful inquiry − we could tip the debate. Click here to sign a global petition. I just did it and only takes one second:
Below you will also find an email with more information about the campaign.
This week, the US Senate is taking its tentative first steps towards establishing an independent commission into Bush's War on Terror −− an open investigation into torture, detention, wiretapping and illegal transfers to secret prisons across the globe. This is a major development, but as expected there are very nervous and powerful interests who want to bury it.
A Commission of Inquiry is essential to unravel the full extent of eight years of cover−ups, to hold those responsible to account and to prevent such injustice from happening again. It would send a powerful message that the US wants to repair the damage done to human rights by the Bush years, while strengthening the fight against terrorism.
But without a massive global and US show of support, champion US Senators may not rally the numbers needed to have this commission established. Sign the petition −− which will be presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee before they make their decision this week −− and help get an inquiry with real teeth over the line:
After 8 damaging years, this campaign for justice has a lot to unearth. The hearing this week will begin a process throughout 2009, and as this petition grows, our voices will be submitted to decision makers at every opportunity. But it all starts with a thorough and unflinching Commission of Inquiry − not just to end impunity, but to make sure that the abductions, deaths and disappearances of Guantanamo are never repeated.
Worryingly, the so−called War on Terror is not yet over. Last week the Obama's Department of Justice argued, as they had under Bush, that detainees at the US facility in Bagram, Afghanistan have no legal right to challenge their detention. Conversely, in a major turnaround it was separately announced that the only remaining 'enemy combatant' on US soil is finally to be tried by a US civilian court.
These conflicting decisions reveal an Administration still making up its mind. Now is the time to draw a line in the sand with a bi−partisan Commission that puts the past behind us and empowers an Administration committed to human rights, definitively rejecting torture, refusing to arbitrarily detain and championing the rule of law in its fight against terrorism and in all its global dealings.
As long as the wrongdoing of the Bush years is kept secret and those practices unaccounted for or allowed to continue, mistrust and violence between nations will flourish. Let's plant a seed of hope, understanding a shared commitment by reading this dark page in history before we turn it.
Brett, Alice, Pascal, Ricken, Paula, Ben, Graziela, Paul, Iain, Milena, Veronique − and the entire Avaaz team
More information on the Commission of Inquiry:
What Amnesty says about a Commission: Investigation, prosecution, remedy
Some options for the Administration
More about the Senate Judiciary Committee
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