" Universal Community of Friends - Theodore Kneupper - Letter to Senators about the war in Iraq

Theodore Kneupper

Letter to Senator Spector

Dear Senator Specter:

I am deeply concerned about several things related to the conduct of the "War On Terror."

First, the Attorney General's authorizing the arrest of thousands of
‘suspects' without any evidence or cause other than their being of Middle Eastern origin, along with their continued internment without cause, is a grave violation of one of the most important principles at the basis of our form of government.

Second, the reports of the use of torture on some of these prisoners,
including the death of at least one of them whose body revealed broken bones and bruises indicative of violent treatment, is a violation of law and the agreements that the U.S. is bound to. I consider such actions as detestable as the crimes of those who attacked the World Trade Center, and even more so, since they set precedent for the DESTRUCTION OF OUR COUNTRY FROM WITHIN by the leaders who have been entrusted to uphold law. If such behavior is tolerated and not punished to the full limit of the law, the terrorists will have succeeded in their intentions.

Third, the actions of the Israeli government against the Palestinian
people, both in the East Bank Region and in the Gaza Strip, are in my
estimation nothing less than state-sponsored terrorism. I am appalled that the U.S. not only condones but actively supports these gross injustices by contributing weapons and other equipment as well as monetary support to these actions. I have recently viewed segments of the newly released film "Gaza Strip," which presents clear information that the Israelis have systematically and intentionally terrorized, including the use of outlawed toxic gases on one town in a recent action, a people that have practically nothing. What is more, the indictment of the Israeli president as a war criminal responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians some years ago calls for serious examination of our current policies in relation to Israel.

What gives me grave concern in all the talk about our war on terrorism is that the U.S. may well find itself sinking into a shameful state of world-wide reprobation as itself a sponsor of terrorism, condemning only those forms that are not in its interest. If we condemn and seek to eliminate terrorist actions, as we rightly should, then we cannot hypocritically select only certain forms of it. It must be rooted out in all its forms, including any terrorist actions taken by states useful to our nation, as well as by our government or its agents or citizens.

You have tremendous power to influence the future of this country and
humanity towards a condition of peace based on justice and law. I urge you to use it fully to your capacity.

Sincerely yours,

Theodore L. Kneupper
Department of Philosophy
Slippery Rock University
Slippery Rock, PA 16057

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