Monday, May 19, 2014

Tues June 3, 2014, 7:30 p.m., Program "Exposing the Truth of U.S. Torture: Restoring Human Dignity and the Rule of Law"

The Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture (WSRCAT) invites all to a presentation "Exposing the Truth of U.S. Torture: Restoring Human Dignity and the Rule of Law" featuring Brig. General David R. Irvine of The Constitution Project, and a panel of activists.

Tuesday June 3, 2014, 7:30 p.m., at University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 NE 43rd Street, Seattle, free admission.

Flyer at

Brig. General David R. Irvine was an Army Reserve strategic intelligence officer who taught prisoner interrogation and military law for 18 years.  He is a member of the bipartisan Task Force on Detainee Treatment of the nonprofit organization, The Constitution Project, which spent over two years compiling a 600 page report on U.S. held detainees at Guantánamo, Afghanistan, Iraq, and CIA "black sites".  This report is available for the world to see at

In contrast, the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and interrogation program cost the taxpayers $40 million, and has yet to be released to the public.

The MC of this important program will be University of Washington Prof. Rob Crawford, a co-founder of WSRCAT.

Panelists include:

The Rev. Rich Lang, Pastor of University Temple United Methodist Church, a consistent voice for global and local justice.

Professor Beth Rivin, a pediatrician, Director of University of Washington's Global Health and Justice Project

Scott Roehm, Senior Counsel, Rule of Law Program, The Constitution Project.

Sponsors of the event include the national organizations:  The Constitution Project;  KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights;  National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT). 

A growing list of local sponsors includes: Amnesty International Group 4, Seattle;  Faith Action Network;  INOC (Interfaith Network of Concern for the Middle East);  Lutheran Peace Fellowship;  Philippine-United States Solidarity Organization (PUSO);  Seattle Chapter Fellowship of Reconciliation;  United Nations Association Greater Seattle Chapter;  University of Washington Center for Human Rights;  Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sept.5 in Seattle: What's Next for the U.S. Anti-Torture Movement?

On Wednesday, September 5th, the Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture (WSRCAT), University Temple United Methodist Church, and other anti-torture organizations will feature Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) and Dr. Rob Crawford, co-founder of WSRCAT.


7:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 5, 2012

PLACE: University Temple United Methodist Church,
1415 Northeast 43rd Street, Seattle.
(next to the UW campus in the University District).
Fireplace Room in the basement.


U.S. Government authorization and practice of torture in the post-9/11 era is now a well-known fact. Even though the Obama Admnistration has rejected that authorization, we are not out of the "dark side" yet. So-called "enhanced interrogation" continues to be defended and advocated by influential voices as a necessary technique of war. Those who authorized and committed torture have not been held accountable. Nor has there been an official commission of inquiry. This event will offer two perspectives on what the public can expect the future to hold, the continuing challenges we face in the anti-torture movement, and how we might most effectively confront these challenges.

RECEPTION FOR REV. RICHARD KILLMER, with light food and non-alcoholic beverages, will be held at 5:45 just adjacent the Fireplace Room in the basement.

NRCAT has been at the forefront of opposition to torture since its founding in 2006. Shortly thereafter WSRCAT became the Washington State affiliate of the national organization. We are especially pleased to have Rev. Killmer join us for this program. From his position as the Executive Director of NRCAT, he has been intimately involved in the anti-torture campaign on the national level and will speak about NRCAT's initiatives in Washington, D.C. Rob Crawford's years of leadership at WSRCAT and his teaching and research have shaped his perspective about the obstacles and possibilities of anti-torture politics.


Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture (WSRCAT),
University Temple United Methodist Church,
National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT),
Amnesty International USA and AI-WA,
Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation,
University of Washington Center for Human Rights.

INFORMATION. If you have questions, call or email Tom Ewell,, and (360) 341-1457 or

We hope you can attend this event!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Protest Indefinite Detention Seattle 1/11/12 on 10th Anniversary of 1st Prisoners to Guantanamo

Candlelight Vigil

Join Washington  State Religious Campaign Against Torture, Amnesty International USA - including local Amnesty International USA Group-4 of Seattle, Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation, Code Pink Washington, and other justice activists to

**Protest indefinite imprisonment without charges on the 10th Anniversary of the arrival of prisoners at Guantanamo.  171 prisoners remain at Guantanamo.  Many  have been cleared of any  role in combat.  Hardly any have been charged with a crime. 

**Protest torture and other inhumane treatment of prisoners  anywhere

**Protest Congress's action to "legalize" indefinite detention without charges or trial,   and other violations of the Bill of  Rights (part of the recently passed NDAA,  National  Defense Authorization Act of 2012)

Wednesday January 11, 2012,  5-6 pm, on sidewalk outside of the Jackson Federal Building, 2nd avenue between Madison and Marion, downtown  Seattle;  if you can please bring a candle in a container  to protect against wind (paper cups with holes in bottom work) and if you can, a sign indicating your opposition to indefinite detention and torture and/or your support of the Bill of Rights.

The Seattle Vigil will be one of many actions around the country.  See the National Religious Campaign Against Torture website and also Amnesty International USA's Day of Action website for more information.

The Bill of Rights

Passed by Congress September 25, 1789.
Ratified December 15, 1791.

Amendment I

Freedoms, Petitions, Assembly
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II
Right to bear arms
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III
Quartering of soldiers
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV
Search and arrest
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V
Rights in criminal cases
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI
Right to a fair trial
In  all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII
Rights in civil cases
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII
Bail, fines, punishment
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX
Rights retained by the People
The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X
States' rights
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

[Thanks to ]

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Joshua Phillips to speak in Seattle on Fri. Nov. 18

Joshua Phillips, author of  "None of Us Were Like This Before: Reflections on American Soldiers and Torture."

Friday, November 18, 3:30 pm, University of Washington, Thomson 317, Seattle

Phillips will discuss his recent book, None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture (Verso, 2010). Gen (ret.) Antonio Taguba, author of the Taguba Report on the Treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, writes: "Joshua Phillips' incredible work in documenting the experience of soldiers who detained and interrogated detainees reflects the huge dilemma and consequences of their actions. His book is about accountability where senior leaders in the military and in the highest level of government failed to account for their actions, failed to protect soldiers who expected clear instructions, and failed the Nation in preventing torture and abuse of the enemy."

Joshua E. S. Phillips has reported from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and South Asia. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Newsweek,The Nation, Salon, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, among other publications. His radio features have been broadcast on NPR and the BBC. Phillips won a Heywood Broun Award and Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcast journalism for his American Radio Works documentary What Killed Sergeant Gray.

Sponsored by the UW Law, Societies & Justice Program; UW Center for Human Rights; and Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tacoma event Nov 16, 2011

Weds Nov 16, 7-8:45 pm, at University of Washington-Tacoma, Carwein Auditorium (Keystone 102), 1990 S. Commerce Street, Tacoma; Joshua Phillips will speak on his book, None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture. How do torture and abuse affect the perpetrators as well as the victims? Co-sponsored by Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture, United for Peace of Pierce County (UFPPC), Veterans For Peace, Amnesty International, HOPE Network (UWT's human rights organization), Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation. info or Rob Crawford, 253-692-4460

Friday, June 3, 2011

June Is Torture Awareness Month

On behalf of the Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture (WSRCAT) we want to remind friends that June is designated as Torture Awareness Month. This is indeed a difficult topic to address because it so deeply offends our religious and humane principles. But precisely because torture is so deeply offensive to our legal, moral and spiritual bearings, it is all the more important that we attend to its offense by holding it in prayer and our political consciousness. Please consider observing June as Torture Awareness Month by doing one or more of the following three things:

1) Go to the new WSRCAT website  for local articles (see especially our own RobCrawford's as well as links to other end-torture websites;

2) Take a few minutes to view a brief new video, "Repairing the Brokenness," at [], that offers responses to torture from leaders from various religious traditions. After you have viewed the video please consider offering it to a post-worship group or any group audience;

3) and finally, please consider an individual or group letter to your Congressperson and Senators Cantwell and Murray to call for a much needed Commission of Inquiry that would lay bare the full facts of U.S. torture and cruel treatment. WSRCAT's position is that in order to become a nation of law committed to human rights, public awareness of what has happened and accountability for these actions - including criminal investigations and prosecutions - are absolutely essential if we are to prevent torture in the future.

Tom Ewell

Monday, May 9, 2011

WSRCAT Co-founder OpEd in Seattle Times 5/9/11

Rob Crawford's OpEd "In the wake of Osama bin Laden's death, America wrestles with itself over torture" published in The Seattle Times May 9, 2011, can be viewed at

Rob, a Professor at University of Washington-Tacoma, co-founded Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture. He has advocated for accountability for torture as a means to prevent future torture, and has spoken to dozens of religious congregations about the immorality of torture.