If The Justice Department Won’t Read The “Torture Report,” You Can Read It To Them!

April 27, 2015


Sometimes the path to justice can feel daunting. What can you do to stop torture? What about when there has not even been a full investigation, let alone prosecution, for torture by US officials?

Today we have you covered.

It may be hard to get an appointment to meet with Justice Department officials in person, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t engage with them and put on the pressure to end impunity for those responsible for US torture.

This is why last week Amnesty International USA launched the American Torture Story campaign to get the Justice Department to commit to reading and reviewing the so-called Senate “torture report”. This report is a landmark document that should be read and disseminated.

If the Justice Department won’t read the report, we will read it to them!

Here’s what to do in 3 easy steps:

Step #1: Pick one of the short excerpts from below. It’ll take about 5-20 seconds to read.

Step #2: Film yourself reading it (Use the reverse / “selfie” function on your phone camera, or get a friend to record).

Hi, I’m [name]. If the Justice Department won’t read the Senate torture report, I’ll read it to them. [read excerpt – see below]   It’s time to take action!

Step #3: Tweet your 30-second video to @TheJusticeDept with the #AmericanTortureStory hashtag (e.g. “.@TheJusticeDept: If you won’t read it, I’ll read it to you! #AmericanTortureStory [insert video here]”)

Read an excerpt of the Senate torture report to the Justice Department:

Want to do a short video? Here are 5-10 second report excerpts from which you can read one:

  • “At least five CIA detainees were subjected to “rectal rehydration” or rectal feeding without documented medical necessity”
  • “The CIA led several detainees to believe they would never be allowed to leave CIA custody alive, suggesting to one detainee that he would only leave in a coffin-shaped box”
  • “In November 2002, a detainee who had been held partially nude and chained to a concrete floor died from suspected hypothermia at the facility”

Got a little more time? For a longer video, read one of these 20-second report excerpts:

  • “Other times, the detainees at “COBALT” were subjected to what was described as a “rough takedown,” in which approximately five CIA officers would scream at a detainee, drag him outside of his cell, cut his clothes off, and secure him with Mylar tape. The detainee would then be hooded and dragged up and down a long corridor while being slapped and punched.”
  • “A list of 12… techniques for possible use by the CIA: (1) the attention grasp, (2) walling, (3) facial hold, (4) facial slap, (5) cramped confinement, (6) wall standing, (7) stress positions, (8) sleep deprivation, (9) waterboard, (10) use of diapers, (11) use of insects, and (12) mock burial. 3. Inspector General records of the interview of a senior CIA debriefer indicated that, “[d]uring the two weeks of interrogation training, she heard stories of detainees being ‘hung for days on end,’ not being fed, mock assassinations, and at least one case of a detainee being repeatedly choked.”

This social media campaign begins today and we could really use your support. Please take 3 minutes to join our social media video campaign to get the Justice Department to read the Senate torture report!

The Justice Department has an obligation to review any new evidence of human rights violations that the report contains, and reopen and expand its investigations into the CIA program. Let them know that we are watching –and reading—by sharing your video today!

Step 4 (bonus!): Tag three of your friends to call on them to take this “Read the Report” challenge!