a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

(202) 224-4654, (202) 224-4524

Posted by Thomas Nephew on September 19th, 2006

Those are the phone numbers of Maryland Senators Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes. Call them as soon as you can and read them Congressman Chris Van Hollen’s position on the sick torture debate disgracing this country:

Congressman Van Hollen opposes torture, opposes efforts to redefine torture, and opposes efforts to redefine our commitment to the Geneva Conventions.

It’s really not so hard to say that, is it! Then ask them,

How about you?

Van Hollen’s position via the estimable Stephanie Dray, who points out it’s by no means too late to give your Senators a piece of your mind about plans to make it less risky to torture, and harder to complain about it or prosecute it.

For my part, I’m against all of it: the Bush administration bill, the McCain/Warner/Graham bill, all of it, and I said the senators should filibuster either of them. We were doing fine before 9/11 without these measures — if Bush’s team had taken Al Qaeda seriously, there wouldn’t have been a 9/11. We’ll do fine after Bush is gone without these measures. And in my opinion, we’ll eventually need to be able to prosecute certain war criminals, and both bills will prevent that.

Please contact your Senators about this. Full contact information for both Maryland Senators:

Mikulski, Barbara A.- (D – MD)
(202) 224-4654
Web Form:

Sarbanes, Paul S.- (D – MD)
(202) 224-4524
Web Form:

UPDATE, 9/20: a Human Rights First e-mailing this morning provides some additional or alternative talking points:

  • The White House is advancing extremely troubling legislation with regard to treatment of detainees in U.S. custody, and I urge you to reject it.
  • The Administration’s proposal is clearly the wrong approach. It violates the Geneva Conventions and evades the recent Hamdan v. Rumsfeld Supreme Court ruling.
  • I am counting on you to reject any proposal that would redefine the Geneva Conventions. We must restore our nation’s reputation, as well as protect our troops. If we condone abuse of detainees in U.S. custody, we invite other nations to do the same when our own soldiers are taken captive.

…and adds, “There is too much at stake for us to remain idle while our Senators debate this dangerous proposal.” Call first, then send an e-mail or five.

One Response to “(202) 224-4654, (202) 224-4524”

  1. » Blog Archive » Van Hollen disappoints on Iran Says:

    […] of a chance for all I know, but that shouldn’t have mattered. While I’ve generally sung his praises here in this little blog of mine, this time I think Van Hollen really screwed up badly, and […]

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