Saturday, October 7, 2017

Links to recordings of anti-torture events held Sept. 2017

Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture (WSRCAT), along with other justice organizations, organized 3 special events, coordinated with the expected ACLU lawsuit against  “torture psychologists” Mitchell and Jessen.   Although the defendants, torture victims and family of a torture victim who died due to his torture, settled the case out of court, the case drew attention to CIA torture of prisoners, and was a step toward accountability for torture. 

As Rob Crawford, facilitator of WSRCAT said, “These events contributed to our principal goals of continuing to confront the violence of torture, the violent rhetoric of torture along with the language and acts of violence coming from the president, his administration, and populist-militarist right-wing movements and media.”

HERE ARE SOME LINKS to what occurred at the 3 WSRCAT events, plus a radio panel about opposing torture.

Sept. 5, 2017, Roundtable Discussion on THE ILLEGAL AND IMMORAL IMPLICATIONS OF TORTURE on KYRS Thin Air Community Radio (Spokane) with speakers Liz Moore and Audrey Burr of Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS), Rob Crawford of WSRCAT, and Karen Dorn Steele, retired investigative reporter with the Spokesman Review.  Audio file at

“THE MORAL AND POLITICAL OBLIGATION TO RESIST TORTURE” – at UW Seattle - September 26, 2017, featured WSRCAT coordinator Rob Crawford, CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, Professor Lisa Hajjar, Ron Stief of National Religious Campaign Against Torture, former Rep. Jim McDermott, and Liezl Rebugio of the ACLU.

Video of the event is at (thanks to videographer Mike McCormick)

An hour’s portion of this event will air on Mike’s Mind Over Matters radio show Sunday October 8, 2017, 7-8 am, on KEXP 90.3 FM Seattle &  This will be available at the website 2 weeks thereafter.

Text of the talk by Rob Crawford is  at

“WHY TORTURE IS WRONG” – in Spokane WA September 9, 2017, featured Keynote Speaker: Curt Goering, Center For Victims Of Torture, and Commentator: Reverend Rich Lang. 

Text of their talks can be read at and

"THE LEGAL OBLIGATION TO PREVENT AND PROSECUTE TORTURE" in Spokane WA took place on Sept. 6, 2017, featured Keynote Speaker JUAN E. MENDEZ, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (2010-2016);  Commentators: LISA HAJJAR, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara, on “The politics of accountability for torture.” and UPENDRA ACHARYA, Associate Professor, Gonzaga University Law School on “The geographic scope of the Convention against Torture as a legal matter.”
Video of this event is at:

Friday, June 23, 2017

US resuming torture? Act to stop it.

President Obama tried to end US torture;  now the US appears to be reversing that policy, using surrogate torturers.  Please read the message below and take action by contacting your 2 Senators and your Representative in Congress.  Phone numbers for the WA state delegation are at the end

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: a WSRCAT activist
Subject: Urgent action - US complicit in torture in Yemen

In a major story, the Associated Press has reported that US officials are interrogating prisoners subjected to torture by United Arab Emirates officials in Yemen.  Here is the article.

I urge everyone to call their US senators and representative about this issue.  Say something like: "The AP has reported that US officials are interrogating prisoners subjected to torture in Yemen.  Please demand an immediate end to this practice."

The switchboard is 1-202-224-3121.  A menu routes you to your senator or representative.

I left messages with Senators Cantwell and Murray and Representative Jayapal.  The staff person at Pramila Jayapal's office seemed very interested, said this was the first he'd heard about this, and promised he would inform Representative Jayapal.

This makes me think that we need to send as many calls as possible.  



See also the League of Women Voters pamphlet "They Represent You" at for additional ways to reach elected officials including webforms and fax numbers.

Senator Patty Murray  202-224-2621 toll free: 866-481-9186  

Senator Maria Cantwell 202-224-3441

1st DISTRICT  NE King, Eastern Snohomish,  Eastern Skagit, and most of  Whatcom County 
Rep. Suzan DelBene 202-225-6311  

2nd DISTRICT      Bellingham and Island, San Juan, Western Skagit and Western Snohomish County
Rep. Rick Larsen  202-225-2605

3rd DISTRICT           Southern Thurston County to Oregon border Klickitat County and west to ocean
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler 202-225-3536

4th DISTRICT    Central Washington
Rep. Dan Newhouse 202-225-5816

5th DISTRICT    Eastern Washington
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers 202-225-2006

6th DISTRICT   Olympic Peninsula, Kitsap, & Northern Pacific County
Rep. Derek Kilmer 202-225-5916

7th DISTRICT Edmonds, Vashon Island & most of Seattle
Rep. Pramila Jayapal 202-225-3106

8th DISTRICT  Sammamish to Auburn and SE King, Eastern Pierce, Chelan and Kittitas Counties
Rep. Dave Reichert 202-225-7761

9th DISTRICT     Southeast Seattle, Redmond to  Kent, Burien to Tacoma
Rep. Adam Smith 202-225-8901

10th DISTRICT       Most of Thurston and Western Pierce County
Rep. Denny Heck 202-225-9740

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Petition about a Case of Fatal Torture in a US Prison

WSRCAT has long taken a stand against torture in prisons, including that of prolonged solitary confinement.  Below is a link about shocking case of fatal torture in a US prison (5 years ago, no accountability).  The text below was offered by the petition presenters as a way to spread the news of this petition.  Please consider signing the petition and also passing along the information.

You might also like to check out WSRCAT's homepage and see some recent updates;  please return soon as we are in the process of adding more updates.


Dear Friends,
I just signed the campaign: Was Darren Rainey Tortured and Killed by Prison Guards at Dade Correctional Institution in Florida?
I ask you to add your name to this important issue. Every name that is added builds momentum around the campaign and makes it more likely for us to get the change we want to see.
Will you join me by taking action on this campaign?

After you've signed the petition please also take a moment to share it with others.  It is quick and easy – all you need to do is forward this email.
Thank you!

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 ]