Over at Crooked Timber Ted Barlow
is trying to get people to persuade Connecticticut Republican Senator Chris Shays to become the first Republican Senator co-sponsor of Rep. Ed Markey's bill opposing Extraodinairy Rendition, H.R.952. This is the practice of shipping suspected terrorists--so weakly suspected we have no way of keeping them--to states that we know practice torture, outsourcing the dirty work to them. Not only is it morally wrong, it sets a dangerous tone for our troops to work in and makes efforts at public diplomacy rather useless
. I.e. it makes for bad national security
. If I'm not mistaken, my friend Colin McCormick helped write this bill when he was working for Markey last year. Writes Barlow:
I’m not an idiot. I know that this bill will never pass in this Congress. But I’d like to see at least one Republican co-sponsor for this bill. I’m going to ask that readers politely contact Connecticut moderate Republican Christopher Shays, who might be open to persuasion.
His phone number in DC is 202-225-5541. In Bridgeport, CT, it’s 203-579-5870. He can be emailed from this page.
So if you live in Connecticut, or have another less extreme Republican representing you, I suggest you do the same. Barlow has a sample letter on his blog post. Ditto for Republican representatives. Intel-Dump has a couple of posts on the matter and keeps them all here
. Getting a Republican Co-Sponsor would be really helpful. As people note in the comments, even these little apparently symbolic victories matter greatly in the bigger picture.