A Letter to Arlen (Senator Specter) about Torture

David Kairys, Esq 2/4/2005

Dear Arlen:

I have not seen you in many years, and am quite aware that we have different views on many issues, but I was saddened to hear that you voted in committee in favor of the nomination of Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General. I thought we would share at least the fundamental belief, for the nation and the world, in the wisdom, vitality and necessity of the Geneva Accords and the basic tenets of treaties and international law that forbid torture and mistreatment of prisoners.

Mr. Gonzales provided and supported ridiculous interpretations and theories for undermining these limits, knowing full well that his "legal" work would unleash the kind of Star Chamber methods so many around the world have struggled and sacrificed to eliminate through the rule of law. International law has done so for the last half century, only to be undone on the home field of human and civil rights, the United States.

We, and you specifically, have held nations to these tenets although they face enemy armies poised on their borders or civil wars in their midst. We have been attacked and face serious danger, but I would not have thought that would lead you to support the move of the U.S. from author and supporter of human rights to rationalizer for torture and mistreatment of prisoners.

I hope you will support at least the effort that I understand is underway to move the nomination back to the committee so it can obtain pertinent documents and fully investigate Mr. Gonzales' role.

Hope all is well.



David Kairys

James E. Beasley Professor of Law
Beasley School of Law
Temple University
1719 N. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19122


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