Category Archives: Torture & Human Rights

Gorsuch Defended Torture: That should END His Nomination

Today I sent the following FAX to the U.S. Senators from North Carolina:

Dear Senators,

Today is the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s speech denouncing the Vietnam War at the Riverside Church in New York City. I was honored to be present then. In the speech, Dr. King prophesied a future of continuing immoral American wars. That prophecy has alas come true, in spades.

In the Iraq War which was launched in 2003, one of the worst of its many horrors was the use of torture. I have protested that practice for more than ten years, calling for ACCOUNTABILITY for those who created, justified and/or carried out that program.

(During the early years of the Iraq war, I gave away hundreds of these bumperstickers.) 

This week you have the chance to HOLD ACCOUNTABLE one of those who justified official torture: NEIL GORSUCH. As reported by your colleague Senator Dianne Feinstein, as a white House lawyer Gorsuch justified torture and advised on ways officials could evade accountability for it. (Details here: http://bit.ly/2nYHgUZ )

 

This is but one of many reasons to oppose his nomination to the Supreme Court. For me, and no doubt it would be for Dr. King, this shameful record is a major one. VOTE NO ON GORSUCH.

Thank you.

Charles Fager

Durham NC

This FAX is online here in PDF form.

 

The Carolina Friends Emergency Consultation – March 25, 2017

The Carolina Friends Emergency Consultation – March 25, 2017
Spring Friends Meeting, Snow Camp NC
(For Directions, click here)

The Consultation Schedule:
Continue reading The Carolina Friends Emergency Consultation – March 25, 2017

A story for today: “I Hate Dill Pickles”

NOTE: This story was written about 2007, against the background of the general “War on Terror,” and the specific wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The wars, and the the unfolding discovery of U.S. detention and torture of many Muslims. I shared it with a Muslim friend from Raleigh NC, and he showed it to the editor of their community newspaper. They asked to publish it, and I agreed.

What it described was supposed to be unthinkable and illegal within the United States. But it wasn’t then, in fact, and recent events have shown that what was fiction in this tale has become a reality of those years, and a continuing prospect that has not been addressed.

Spring 2018; or maybe tomorrow

Sara Rahman was my best friend in eighth grade. “BFFs, Amber,” she often said to me.  And some of the best times we had were while walking home from school.

We joked and laughed about everything – stuff in school, books she was reading, her dorky big brother Ahmed, even some of the sillier songs from “American Idol.”

Maybe we were having too much fun. Maybe we shouldn’t have gone running up to the ice cream truck that came jangling by and pulled over to the curb.

But it was a warm spring Thursday, and Sara had five dollars in her pocket, a pre-birthday present from her aunt, and she loved ice cream.

“Especially butter pecan,” she said. “That’s my very favorite.” So we did stop at the ice cream truck. No butter pecan, but they did have big cones of cookies and cream, so Sara got one of those, and bought me an Eskimo pie. Continue reading A story for today: “I Hate Dill Pickles”

Dog Days Profile: Jim Corbett, Sanctuary Prophet of Post-Desert Quakerism

Dog Days Profile: Jim Corbett, Sanctuary Prophet of Post-Desert Quakerism

Friend Jim Corbett, of Pima Meeting in Tucson, died on his Arizona ranch August 2, 2001 after a short illness. He was 67.

With his passing a quiet Quaker giant departed.

I for one am grateful to have lived in the same two centuries as he. For those who become familiar with the important strands of Quaker thought and action of our time, I believe Jim’s life and work will loom even larger with time.

Sanctuary-Corbett-FGC-1986
Jim Corbett, speaking at Friends General Conference in 1986, not long after he escaped conviction on charges of illegally aiding refugees fleeing Central American wars.

Not that we’ll see a lot of monuments to him; he deserves them, but that wasn’t his way, and Quakers aren’t much for it.

But a tribute is due, and here’s mine. It’s an adaptation of a profile of Jim that was part of my book, Without Apology.  Continue reading Dog Days Profile: Jim Corbett, Sanctuary Prophet of Post-Desert Quakerism