A proposed local anti-torture resolution

We, concerned American citizens and residents of the city of Colorado Springs, call upon our city council to issue a proclamation to both the state of Colorado and the federal government, that as citizens of this city, state, and country, we categorically reject the application of any deliberate mental or physical abuse upon any and all prisoners held by our local, state, and national governments. And further that we call upon our national leaders to have all prisoners held by the US military, be treated according to the regulations of the Geneva Conventions regarding the humane treatment of prisoners of war.

We urge the passing of the following resolution by the City Council of Colorado Springs:

We, the citizens of Colorado Springs, categorically reject the current policy of our national government of transferring US held prisoners to other countries, or to US allied armed groups, to have them tortured during interrogation or as punishment. We also reject any policy of deliberate governmental assassination of foreign opponents, whether it be carried out by our own military, or outsourced to US allies.

We, the citizens of Colorado Springs, categorically reject the indefinite holding of any prisoners without trial and without charges filed against them, whether foreign or domestic. We reject the systematic denial of timely access to lawyers of the choosing of the prisoners needing legal representation. We reject harassment of the legal councils of all prisoners. All prisoners should immediately have access to the press, so that any mistreatment can be made public. Not to do so, is not in keeping with the processes of a democratic society, whether these prisoners be domestic or foreign.

We, the citizens of Colorado Springs, call upon the US government to immediately prosecute any officials who have abused prisoners, or denied them their due rights. This includes not just the immediate abusers of prisoners, but those in supervisory positions over those lower level employees, who directed the actions of their subordinates. We call upon our federal government to immediately initiate a grand federal investigator commission into these multiple abuses that have already been documented as having occurred, and to have them stopped at once.

Further, we the citizens of Colorado Springs, call upon our state and local authorities to renounce the use of abuse and torture of American prisoners held in local and state facilities. We are well aware that the deliberate use of sexual abuse, solitary confinement, and physical assault is rampant throughout the US in multiple correctional facilities, and that the multiple torture methods and abuse techniques and denial of rights used against our own citizens is now being incorporated into the systematic abuse of foreign POWs held by our military. Calling foreign POWs by any other name does not change their real status as POWs. If the US military has taken prisoner any foreign citizen during military engagements, then these troops we consider to be POWs, and their treatment is subject to the Geneva Conventions.

We, the citizens of Colorado Springs and our city council, especially condemn local military contracting agencies, with their many offices located inside our city limits, that have directed torture against POWs in other countries. Already US troops operating in conjunction with these private contractors have been found guilty of directing torture and abuse of prisoners in their custody. These private operatives have been documented as having shot at foreign nationals and having severely injured and murdered foreign civilians as a result. We do not consider these companies to be good citizens of our community, and urge that appropriate criminal charges be brought against companies that have violated prisoner rights per the Geneva Accords regarding humane treatment of POWs. We call upon the city, the state of Colorado, and the US federal government to cease contracting at once with these companies, and to end their immunity from having charges brought against them for their acts of criminality overseas.

Further, we the citizens of Colorado Springs, reject as dishonest and criminal any government denial at either the state, local, or national levels that these abuses are in fact occurring. The documentation is extensive and overwhelming that the US is mistreating POWs, and also prisoners within its own national criminal corrections facilities. The US government has a known and long history of using torture against POWs. Tens of thousands of US held Vietnamese POWs were tortured to death in the so-called ‘tiger cages’ and during the US “Phoenix Operations.” Similarly, the atrocities on prisoners captured by the US financed ‘Contras’ has been well documented. The US use of torture on POWs is not new. What is new is the open advocacy by federal leaders of what had been covert policy. We condemn, as citizens of Colorado Springs, this open advocacy of war crimes committed by US soldiers. We support our troops by demanding that they not be subject to orders to commit war crimes.

We the citizens of Colorado Springs and our city council, proclaim it time for the abuse to stop, and for humane treatment of all prisoners to begin. To allow our government to abuse foreign prisoners of war is to be complicit in the crime, just as continuing to allow abuse to be inflicted on our own incarcerated citizens. We reject both, and call upon our government, at all levels, to most urgently begin to humanely treat those behind bars.

The passage of this proclamation by our city council to be sent to both the Governor of the state of Colorado and to the President of the United State.

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