Dear Senator,

Our congregation of Spring Friends Meeting, part of the Religious Society of Friends, earnestly appeals to your sense of humanity and justice in taking the moral high ground with regard to torture and the treatment of prisoners.  In his speech on 9/6/2006, President Bush said that he would ask Congress to approve broad new powers for his administration – powers which the Supreme Court has said are unconstitutional.  We as a congregation find these proposals abhorrent to the dignity and sanctity of human existence.  We believe that such proposed measures and past practices severely compromise the integrity of the detainer as much as the mistreat the detainees.

The President seeks your approval for the CIA to continue operating secret prisons outside of the United States and outside of the control of U.S. or international law.  His legislation will propose military tribunals with limited safeguards for fair trials.  And he will seek your approval to continue wholesale scanning of millions of emails and telephone connections, instead of honing in on individuals suspected of illegal or dangerous communications.

The President urges you to rush to judgment on these important issues, and not to spend time in the democratic processes for which you were elected.   We urge you to reject the PresidentÕs time table and to consider these important bills very carefully.  We also urge you to ensure that:

In the interest of peace and justice, we urge you to reject the President's proposals.  And while we applaud the efforts by Senators McCain, Graham and Warner and appreciate the concept of legislative compromise, we believe that compromise on these issues--when human rights are what are to be compromised--is unacceptable.  We appeal to you to apply the Golden Rule to this matter, as should be applied to all situations, as more just and effective measures for long term peace and security.


Ron Osborne

Clerk of Ministry and Counsel

Spring Friends Meeting

of the Religious Society of Friends