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Giving Voice To Our Values

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Washington State


The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld
October 7, 2006
7 p.m.
Pigott Auditorium, Seattle University
901 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA

As part of the war on terror, U.S. forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay have regularly engaged in abuse and torture of prisoners. U.S. forces have dunked prisoners’ heads under water until
the prisoners believed they were

going to drown, forced prisoners to live in a 4-foot X 4-foot X 20-inch cell, beaten and sexually assaulted prisoners, and denied prisoners the opportunity to sleep for days at a time.  While in U.S. custody, 108 prisoners have died and between 28 and 31 of these deaths are suspected or confirmed criminal homicides.

In 2004, Donald Rumsfeld famously told the Senate Armed Services Committee, “These events occurred on my watch.  As Secretary of Defense I am accountable for them and I take full responsibility.”  Despite this claim and Rumsfeld’s vow to thoroughly investigate the Abu Ghraib scandal, to date only low-ranking soldiers involved directly in the torture, such as Lyndie England, have been held accountable.  Like many Americans, we do not believe this response is adequate.  We believe that senior U.S. officials – who, at best, knew about the abuses yet did nothing and, at worst, set the conditions for abuse – must also be held responsible for torture and abuse of detainees.

Since the Abu Ghraib torture revelations, there have been other war crimes committed by US forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.  The Bush Administration’s policy toward detainees has received near universal condemnation from the world community and has been rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Donald Rumsfeld claims that torture of detainees are a result of a few "bad apples" in our military forces.  This event will question that assertion and place responsibility where it should rest: at the highest level of the Bush Administration, including Donald Rumsfeld personally

The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld is an educational event that will feature nationally recognized speakers and dramatized trial testimony.  Speakers include Jennifer Harbury, author of Truth, Torture and the American Way; Ron Slye, Professor in International Comparative Law, Seattle University School of Law; and Pramila Jayapal, Founder and Executive Director of Hate Free Zone Washington.  Trial vignettes will include stories by detainees and the cross-examination of Donald Rumsfeld.  Please join us for this historic event and help us hold senior U.S. officials accountable for facilitating torture.  Through this event, we will call on the U.S. Government to:  (1) close all torture camps, (2) provide due process rights to all detainees, and (3) prosecute war crimes.

The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld is sponsored by University Unitarian Church, ACLU of Washington, Amnesty International Puget Sound, American Constitution Society-Puget Sound Chapter, Hate Free Zone Washington, Legacy of Equality, Leadership and Organizing (LELO), Rainier Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Seattle Fellowship of Reconciliation, and Sound Nonviolent Opponents of War.

Donations to support the event will be accepted at the door.

For more information, go to or email