United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries Action Alert
This week promises a flurry of last-minute legislative activity as members of Congress prepare to wrap up their work before recessing until after the November elections. Late last week, White House and Senate leaders reached a seriously flawed compromise agreement on military tribunals and the treatment of detainees. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) is now poised to move that compromise to the Senate floor for approval this week.
The compromise agreement allows for interrogation tactics that have drawn criticism from Senators on both sides of the aisle, as well as retired military leaders and former government officials. It also allows for detainees to be held in secret locations without the right to trial.
Due process and the fair treatment of all are fundamental principles upon which this nation was founded. The compromise agreement on military tribunals and interrogation contradicts these principles. Such a policy will only serve to undermine U.S. support for human rights around the world and will likely fuel anti-American sentiment abroad.
President Bush is pressuring the Senate to act on the compromise agreement this week, citing the need for intelligence gathering to maintain strong national security. As people of faith, we are called to stand against policies and practices that violate fundamental human dignity. True national security cannot be achieved through inhuman, degrading and unjust treatment of others.