Monday, May 31, 2010

Torture Awareness Month

We encourage all congregations and individuals to participate in Torture Awareness Month. In fact, we are working to make it Torture Awareness summer.

WSRCAT supports the National Religious Campaign Against Torture's call for access to all US held prisoners by the International Committee of the Red Cross. We are collecting signatures on postcards to members of Congress, and we hope to deliver the cards in face-to-face meetings with our Washington State elected officials. See for information or download postcards at

Both WSRCAT and NRCAT call for a Commission of Inquiry to look into crimes committed since 2001, and we call on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a Special Prosecutor to hold accountable those responsible for US torture.
See NRCAT's petition calling for a Commission of Inquiry at or or sign on individually via the web at

WSRCAT is circulating a petition to Attorney General Eric Holder calling for a Special Prosecutor, with this wording:
"We urge you to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate ALL violations of federal law related to torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of prisoners since 2001. Those who authorized illegal policies as well as those who carried them out must be prosecuted. We believe that in order to prevent future torture and abuse, there must be full accountability."
Please contact us for postcards or petitions!

Monday, May 10, 2010

2 talks by Torture Opponent Matthew Alexander

Fri May 21, 7 - 8:30 pm, at University of Washington, Kane Hall Room #120, Seattle. Amnesty International, Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture, and the UW Law, Societies & Justice Program present Torture opponent Matthew Alexander in "A Chair, A Brain, and A Heart: An Interrogator's Mission to Return America to the Rule of Law." He has written a book and spoken out about the moral and practical objections to torture. Matthew Alexander, a former senior military interrogator in Iraq and the author of "How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq." Matthew Alexander led an interrogation team that refused to use coercive interrogation methods on detainees and gathered the intelligence that directly led to the successful airstrike on Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, who was the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq and mastermind of the suicide bombing campaign that helped plunge Iraq into civil war. Followed by reception with light refreshments. Free and open to the public. Event co-sponsors include American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington, UW American Constitution Society, UW Center for Human Rights, UW International Law Society, and Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation. info or 206-463-5653 or or

Sat May 22, 7:30 pm, at Blessed Sacrament Church, 5043 9th Ave NE, in Seattle's University District; Matthew Alexander on How To Break A Terrorist. Matthew Alexander is an outspoken opponent of torture. He refutes torture's effectiveness, citing its negative long term effects - such as recruiting for Al Qaida - and argues that torture is contrary to the American principles of freedom, liberty, and justice. His book, How to Break A Terrorist, provides an inside look at the non-coercive interrogation techniques which lead to the whereabouts and targeting of Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, the notorious Al Qaida leader. Matthew Alexander served fourteen years in the US Air Force, and is a former criminal investigator and interrogator for the US military. He has conducted missions in over thirty countries, and has personally conducted more than three hundred interrogations, supervising more than a thousand. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his achievements in Iraq. Sponsors include the Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture - WSRCAT, Amnesty International, and the Blessed Sacrament Peace and Justice Committee. Free and open to the public. info Nina Butorac 206-732-7351 or