|Resolution to end sanctioned torture|
WHEREAS acts of torture violate United States criminal laws, specifically the federal Anti-Torture Statute, 18 U.S.C. 2340 and the federal War Crimes Act of 1996; they violate international treaties to which the United States is a party, including the Geneva Conventions, the Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and furthermore, torture is particularly alien to the principle of respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person, a principle that is central to Unitarian Universalist religious beliefs; and
WHEREAS we are disturbed by the failure to identify and prosecute those persons who have supported actions that we believe have resulted in the practice of torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo; and we are further disturbed by the use of “torture by proxy” or so called extraordinary rendition of detainees to secret prisons outside the United States, as a means of technically avoiding culpability for such practices; and
WHEREAS we recognize that recent public attention to this issue has led to the passage of the McCain amendment, SA 1977, which has the intent of placing significant constraints on treatment of detained persons; however, the “signing statement” by the President suggests that he does not consider himself to be bound by such intent; and furthermore, we recognize that reported statements by the Secretary of State and Attorney General in their attempts to explain the Administration’s policies, suggest their intent to avoid the consequences of the adopted legislation;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that as members of the May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society of Syracuse, NY and citizens of the United States we firmly reject the use of detention, incarceration, and interrogation techniques by agents of the government of the United States that may be construed in terms of law or common morality as torture and cruel or degrading punishment; and
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we implore our elected representatives to exercise their responsibility and authority to maintain due vigilance to constrain recurrence of practices that violate our nation’s principles and the rule of law in the treatment of detained persons by United States intelligence agents, military personnel, and liaison/contractors. Appropriate steps would include, at a minimum:
As citizens of the United States and people of faith, we have a vision of our country as one that honors the worth and dignity of every person, including detained persons, where no one is exempt from or above the rule of law.
Adopted this 24th day of September, 2006 by majority vote of the congregation of May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society of Syracuse, NY.