Alert: Call Your Senators On Alberto Gonzales

If you oppose the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General, here's a current list of Senators with phone numbers. They like to hear from constituents. All you have to say is your name, that you are a constituent, and that you are asking the Senator to vote no on confirming Gonzales.

Need more reasons? Videos were released today of Guantanamo prisoner abuse that occurred at the hands of the "Immediate Reaction Forces." The videos are contained in a report by the U.S. Southern Command in Miami, which is responsible for oversight of Guantanamo. The Associated Press got ahold of the June, 2004 report. Check out what it says about "Romeo Block," where detainees were taken, stripped and held naked for days:

One such clip the investigators flagged was from Feb. 17, 2004. It showed "one or more" team members punching a detainee "on an area of his body that seemingly would be inconsistent with striking a pressure point," which is a sanctioned tactic for subduing prisoners.

In five other clips showing detainees who appeared to have been punched by team members, the investigators said: "The punching was in line with accepted law enforcement practice of striking the pressure point on the back of the thigh to temporarily distract the detainee."

In other "questionable" cases, reviewers said a video showed a guard kneeing a detainee in the head, while another showed a team securing a detainee to a gurney for an interrogation. A separate clip captured a platoon leader taunting a detainee with pepper spray and repeatedly spraying him before letting the reaction team enter the cell, reviewers wrote.

Investigators also noted about a dozen cases where detainees were stripped from the waist down and taken to the "Romeo block," of the camp. No female guards were involved, they said. Romeo block is a camp section where prisoners were often left naked for days, according to two former detainees, Britons Shafiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal, who were released last year.

Anyone who played a role in acquiesing to this conduct has further explaining to do before being named Attorney General. Alberto Gonzales has not finished explaining. Until he does, and unless he provides satisfactory answers, he should not be confirmed as the nation's top cop. Ask your Senator to join the ACLU's request for the appointment of outside counsel to investigate Guantanamo and Iraqi prisoner abuse.

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    I've snail-mailed Salazar and I've just used the contact form on his Senate Web page, urging him to vote against Gonzalez. The snail mail was earlier and also urged him to vote against Rice. Fat lot of good the snail mail did, and fat lot of good the latest mail will probably do. I hope many other Coloradans are sending him the same message. But I fear he's listening to other voices.

    David, I agree about Salazar. I wrote about him supporting Gonzales at 5280 today.