Will Hold Hearings Tomorrow Morning on Capitol Hill
'Amnesty International' to give first Congressional testimony since releasing report on U.S. Human Rights abuses at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib
By Brad Friedman on 6/9/2005, 11:42am PT  

As fallout from the Downing Street Minutes continues to rock Capitol Hill, more unwanted attention to Administration policies on the war and human rights abuses looks to be on the way.

MoveOn.org joined the call for signatures earlier this morning for John Conyers letter to George W. Bush asking for clarification about several matters in the official British minutes now known as the Downing Street Minutes. That recently released information documents an official UK meeting describing the Bush Administration policy to topple Saddam Hussein through military means and to "fix" intelligence around the policy as early as eight months prior to the war. The BRAD BLOG has learned that MoveOn.org has received well over 240,000 350,000 new signatures to that letter in just the few hours since joining the campaign, and is receiving several thousand new signatures each minute.

But Conyers and Company are not resting. The BRAD BLOG has learned that the ranking House Judiciary Member has just announced additional hearings will be held tomorrow morning concerning the allegations of Human Rights abuses at U.S. Terror Prisons, including Gitmo and Abu Ghraib. The hearings will feature testimony from a representative of Amnesty International, the first such congressional testimony since the group released their recent report on alleged Human Rights abuses at the U.S. run prison camps.

The following Press Release was issued just moments ago concerning hearings to be held tomorrow on Capitol Hill...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 9, 2005

HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE TO HOLD OFFICIAL OVERSIGHT HEARING ON PATRIOT ACT ABUSES

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a rarely used procedural move, House Judiciary Committee Democrats invoked Rule 11 of the House Rules and requested an additional day of hearings on the Patriot Act and civil liberties implications of the Administration's terrorism related efforts. This will be the first hearing in which Members of the Committee will have the opportunity to address in detail, the horrific human rights abuses of detainees that occurred in the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisons, as well as the ongoing problems of racial profiling and hate crimes that have plagued Muslim and Arab Americans since the passage of the Patriot Act in 2001. In addition, this will be the first time Amnesty International has testified before Congressional Committee since the publication of their 2005 Annual Report on human rights abuses throughout the world. The Committee will also hear testimony how the Administration has abused the immigration system to hold people without charge or bond, and have proceedings behind closed doors.

WHAT: House Judiciary Committee Democratic Oversight Hearing on Patriot Act Abuses

WHEN: Friday, June 10th @ 8:30am

WHERE: 2141 Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESSES:
Chip Pitts, Chair of the Board, Amnesty International USA
Dr. James J. Zogby, President, Arab American Institute
Deborah Pearlstein, Director, U.S. Law and Security Program, Human Rights First
Carlina Tapia-Ruano, American Immigration Lawyers Association

UPDATE: Tomorrow's hearing, clearly, is different from the one later announced by Conyers concerning the Downing Street Minutes. That one, scheduled for next Thursday, will feature testimony from Constitutional Attorney John Bonifaz (featured on last weekends BRAD SHOW) as well as CIA Analyst Ray McGovern (scheduled for this Saturday's BRAD SHOW! Do we got your news agenda right here or what?! :-)

UPDATE 6/10/05: Holy Meltdown, Batman! Watch Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) go nuts at this morning's Patriot Act hearings! Full BRAD BLOG team coverage right here...