Sample Letter to the Editor on H.R. 2082
Section 327 of H.R. 2082, the Intelligence Authorization Act, contains a very important anti-torture provision that would require all elements of the U.S. intelligence community to abide by the restrictions in the Army Field Manual while conducting interrogations. Unfortunately, however, some Senate Republicans have threatened to block this important legislation. Writing a letter to the editor is powerful way to tell your Senator how strongly you support this legislation and an excellent way to raise awareness of this issue in your community.
Letters should be short and direct. If at all possible, they should refer to an article that was recently printed in your newspaper. You should call or email the editorial department of your newspaper to ask about the best way to submit your letter and about any guidelines they might have for writing letters. Many newspapers may have word limits or deadlines for responding to articles. Do not submit your letter to more than one newspaper at a time.
A sample letter is provided below. Please re-write it in order to make it relevant to your newspaper and your community.
As a resident of _(town name)_, a member of _(name of a church, temple, or other faith organization)_ and a long-time reader of the _(paper name)_, I am writing to express my opposition to the use of torture, and to encourage Senators _(the names of your Senators i.e.: Senators Douglass and Perkins)_ to support legislation that would prohibit waterboarding, mock executions, induced hypothermia and other “harsh” interrogation techniques.
As a person of faith, I believe that torture is morally wrong and that our nation must act in accordance with its values by rejecting the use of torture.
Senator _(Senator’s name)_ has the opportunity to be a leader in ending the use of torture by supporting Section 327 of H.R. 2082, the Intelligence Authorization Act, which passed the House of Representatives in December. Section 327 would ban the CIA, its contractors, and all other agencies of the intelligence community from engaging in interrogation techniques that are prohibited by the Army Field Manual on Interrogations. In effect, Section 327 would prevent the use of waterboarding and other forms of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading interrogation techniques.
Unfortunately, some Senators oppose Section 327, and they may obstruct the passage of H.R. 2082 or attempt to remove Section 327 from H.R. 2082. I call on Senators _(the names of your Senators i.e.: Senators Douglass and Perkins)_ to be a leader in the fight against torture and to vote against any attempt to prevent this important anti-torture provision from becoming law.
(City, State, Zip Code)
(Daytime Phone Number)