America still stands on the Dark Side!
Printable version of this leaflet (PDF)
Unfortunately, the problems portrayed in
"Taxi to the Dark Side" are far from over.
- At Bagram
- At the US base in Afghanistan where the taxi driver Dilawar was murdered, the number of prisoners continues to grow -
up from barely 100 in 2004 to 630 last month, according to the New York Times.  Detainees there have no
legal rights and no clear status. Some have been held without charges for five years, mostly “fenced into
large metal pens," the Times said. The International Committee of the Red Cross, the only outside group
allowed into the detention center, filed a formal complaint to the U.S. government about the conditions there.
- At Guantanamo
- Some 275 men are still locked up at the US base in Guantanamo Bay. Bush and Cheney call the Gitmo detainees
"the worst of the worst," but after six years, only 10 have been charged with any crime, and even the government
has classified only 8 percent of them as Al Qaeda fighters. Only 5 percent were actually captured by US
forces; the rest were turned in by Pakistanis or Afghanis, in many cases in exchange for large bounties,
or to punish enemies, or - as in Dilawar's case - to divert attention from those actually responsible for attacks.
- In Iraq
- The two main US military detention centers in Iraq, at Camp Bucca near Basra and Camp Cropper in Baghdad,
held nearly 30,000 detainees as of December, 2007,  while tens of thousands more are held by the US-backed
- Around the world
- Under the program known as "extraordinary rendition," the US has transported an unknown number of detainees -
Amnesty International estimates it’s hundreds  - to other countries for interrogation and detention, including
countries where they are likely to face torture. And some 100 other people have apparently been "disappeared"
into the CIA's worldwide network of secret "black sites," according to Human Rights Watch. 
- Here at home
- With more than 2.2 million people in jails and prisons, the United States has the highest incarceration rate and
total prison population in the world. (China ranks second with 1.5 million - and it has four times the population
of the US.) Cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, including beatings, sexual humiliation, and prolonged
isolation, are commonplace in America's jails and prisons.
Stand up against torture!
It's not enough to be indignant about what you've seen in "Taxi to the Dark Side." If we're serious about
ending torture, indefinite detention, "extraordinary rendition," and other U.S. government abuses
in the "War on Terror," we have to act to make it happen. Just putting a Democrat in the White
House won't do the trick - most of the Democrats have put up only half-hearted resistance, at best,
to Bush's policies. It's up to us to build a movement powerful enough to force the politicians,
whatever their party, to:
- Shut down Bagram, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and all other US prisons overseas, , including secret CIA detention facilities.
- Enact an unequivocal ban on all forms of torture (including waterboarding), covering the CIA, the military,
all other federal agencies, government contractors, prison guards, and anyone else.
- Hand over real terrorism suspects to the International Criminal Court, release all the other detainees,
and pay them compensation for the human-rights violations they have suffered.
- Prohibit "extraordinary rendition."
- Repeal the Military Commissions Act of 2006, the law that stripped detainees of the
ancient right of habeas corpus, made the Geneva Conventions unenforceable in
U.S. courts, gave retroactive immunity to torturers, and allowed the President or the
Secretary of Defense to declare anyone an "enemy combatant" with no legal rights.
- Prosecute government officials, agents, and contractors who carried out or ordered torture.
|What Can You Do?
- Tell your friends to see "Taxi to the Dark Side."
- Ask anyone who wants your vote - for president, for Congress, or for anything else -
to support the demands above.
- Wear an orange ribbon to show your opposition to torture.
- Support the Center for Constitutional Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International,
and other organizations leading the fight against torture and indefinite detention.
- In the Bay Area, join Act Against Torture (www.actagainsttorture.org) in leafleting, street theater,
demonstrations, and direct action.
Notes / References
 Tim Golden, "Foiling US Plan, Prison Expands in Afghanistan," New York Times Jan. 7, 2008 -
 Mark Denbeaux et al., "Report on Guantanamo detainees: A Profile of 517 Detainees," Seton Hall University, February 8, 2006 -
 Gordon Lubold, "Do U.S. Prisons in Iraq Breed Insurgents?" Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 20, 2007 -
 Amnesty International, "'Rendition' and secret detention: A global system of human rights violations" -
 Human Rights Watch, World Report 2008 - http://hrw.org/englishwr2k8/docs/2008/01/31/usdom17770.htm#secret