I-95 Billboard: Torturers, your names are Lieberman, Shays, Simmons, Johnson

A Connecticut interfaith religious group has called them by their true name.  The Hartford Courant reports:

Weighing in on Connecticut's hotly contested congressional races, a group of religious activists unveiled a giant billboard Monday off busy Interstate 95 that accuses four candidates of voting to allow torture.  

The billboard in Stratford names Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman and Republican Reps. Christopher Shays, Rob Simmons and Nancy Johnson as supporters of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

It's a big billboard, in a prominent place:

Organizers say about 100,000 commuters pass the billboard in Stratford each day. The billboard - 14 feet high and 48 feet wide - was sponsored by Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice, which describes itself as a statewide interfaith network of religious leaders created in 2002.

14 by 48 is pretty darn big.  Car-dealer, casino, fast-food big.  I'm sort of familiar with the area - drove through there a couple weeks ago.  Chris Shays had a huge billboard along the same interstate, in Stamford I think.  Lists all his nice qualities, where the northbound traffic (in a location prone to daily volume-generated jams) can spend some quality time pondering them.  This group's putting a billboard up calling him on his vote is better than tagging his with "torturer".

The group, Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice, has its website here.

This is what they say about themselves:

We are a Connecticut statewide interfaith gathering of religious leaders and people of faith, joined by our belief in the God of justice and love, who calls us "to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with God." In this time of crisis and war, we believe that walking humbly with God requires us to advocate and practice nonviolent love, in the tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

We recognize that we are living within a culture of violence and that the war outside our country is intimately linked to domestic policies that leave the marginalized ever more vulnerable. We are committed to promoting an alternative to this culture of violence.

Their site has an image of the billboard, and there's a .pdf of it available, here. I think that's a real photo, too.

What does Joe Loserman have to say about this?  In the Courant:

"This is just another example of the kind of mudslinging partisanship that Joe Lieberman wants to remove from our debates about how best to keep our nation safe," said Lieberman spokeswoman Tammy Sun.

Yeah, Joe Tortureman, these folks strike me as real partisan mudslingers.  

And, after the fact, Chris Dodd now tells an Iowa campaign stop he regrets being talked out of a filibuster of the Torture Bill.  How convenient.  From the sounds of it, he's speaking to the choir, but without his heart in it.

By way of comparison to what our soldiers do in Gitmo and elsewhere, in today's Hartford Courant there's a report on the guilty pleas of two adults, to child abuse charges.  The father was sentenced to a year in prison and five years of probation.  The mother will get six months in prison and five years probation.  As is routine, they avoided much longer sentences by pleading guilty.  From that article:

"Through interviews with the boy's two older brothers, police confirmed the 3-year-old had been kept in a bedroom with a bottle to urinate in. He said he broke his arm climbing on a milk crate while trying to get out of the room."

Arguably, this kid was being treated better than any of the prisoners at Gitmo, and surely better than the high-value prisoners held in secret jails.  There's no indication he was deprived of sleep or otherwise assaulted - just locked in his room.  And, he probably had some toys or something while in his room....  Still, Mommy and daddy will go to jail for what they did to him.

This comparison is not to minimize child abuse - rather, it is to highlight just how brutal the conduct of those Bush uses to carry out this continuing atrocity is, and how brutalized they (and we) have become.

- - -

FWIW- this is my first diary here.  Please rate and/or comment and let me know thereby, how I'm doing.... Thanks.

Twitchy, much? >


Joes's last name?
Lieberman 20%
Loserman 20%
Tortureman 30%
Soon-to-be-forgottenman 30%

Votes: 10
Results | Other Polls
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  • Display: Sort:
    Re: I-95 Billboard: Torturers, your names (3.00 / 2) (#1)
    by scribe on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 02:53:29 PM EST
    The organization has now posted a . photo of the billboard in place, here.

    They say they'll be putting up another billboard, on I-84.

    I give for now on trying to figure out how to update....

    Re: I-95 Billboard: Torturers, your names (none / 0) (#2)
    by Patriot Daily on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 04:00:17 PM EST
    I gave it a 5 cause thought it was a great diary. hope 5 means great cause not familiar with this rating system!:)

    Re: I-95 Billboard: Torturers, your names are Lie (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 09:27:25 PM EST
    I think this is a really good and relevant diary scribe, and is as well written and expressed as most of your posts here.

    It's poignant and on topic and it's really nice to see that religious groups are starting to not only stand their ground and stand up and say they intend to stay true to their professed morals, but that they are determined to be seen as, as their website masthead says: "Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice".

    Their timing, with the elections only a couple of weeks off, is welcome also. The only criticism I have for them now is a very strong one, however.

    Where the hell have they been for the past SIX YEARS?? Why haven't they stood up and said 'this far and no farther' long, long before now?

    Like the first time any inkling of torture being used or countenanced by the bush administration became public knowledge. How could they remain silent? How could they think or feel that remaining silent is not encouraging torture? How could they think or feel that remaining silent is not condoning torture? How could they think or feel that remaining silent is not saying "it's OK when WE do it"?

    WHERE THE HELL WERE THEY??? Now that the rest of the country is ready to boot out the people so many religious groups have been supporting for so long, why are they speaking out against torture NOW?

    It's good that they are. And it's good that they think they should. And it's right that they are.

    Are they doing sincerely though? Or are they doing it out of self interest and self preservation and out of a desire to evade and avoid the condemnation they rightfully deserve for hypocritically staying silent so long?

    This is exactly what I had in mind when I wrote this comment yesterday.


    I need to go to my preferences and turn the ratings back on so I can rate this, scribe. It will be the highest rating I can give it, though.

    Thanks for writing this, scribe. Well done.

    Re: I-95 Billboard: Torturers, your names are Lie (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 09:42:11 PM EST
    I don't seem to be able to turn "Rate comments:" back on. I went to my User Preferences: Comments and set the drop down box to yes, but the rating buttons do not appear after I refresh this page. Nor do they appear anywhere else.

    Is this a bug, or am I doing something wrong?

    Anyway, scribe: Highest Rating.. if that's a 5 then so be it.


    Well done.

    Re: I-95 Billboard: Torturers, your names are Lie (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Oct 19, 2006 at 01:06:44 AM EST
    I didn't realize that users weren't able to rate diaries, so now you can. Thanks, Scribe, for the great diary.