You've likely heard by now that -- in yet another apparent attempt to adhere to the letter of King Solomon's solution in 1 Kings 3:16-28, rather than its spirit -- President Obama won't make the Senate torture report public, but he will include it among his Presidential papers. That will no doubt protect the torture report from a more reactionary Senate bent on destroying it and covering up our shame as a nation, but it will also prevent the report from being released to the public for another dozen years -- by which time our incoming President (who may be out of office by then!) will have directed enough torture to provoke a new torture report from a new Senate, one which will also demonstrate that torture is (besides being wrong!) a terrible way to fight terrorism or get actionable intelligence from suspects, and those of us who would be looking toward retirement at that time will certainly wonder if our lives accomplished nothing. So let's try and head off all that madness, shall we? Roots Action helps you tell President Obama to make the Senate's torture report public. So far a heavily-censored 500-page executive summary is all the public knows about, and while it's made its point, the full 7,000-page horror would make an even better point. Hell, even some of our "liberal" media journalists might read it (or part of it, let's be realistic!), and be horrified at what it contains.
Meanwhile, a few Democratic Senators (including Sens. Warren and Merkley) will introduce a bill in January requiring the President and Vice President to divest from any entities that might pose a conflict of interest. You may have heard that our next President, Donald Trump, faces numerous conflicts of interest in which he may be directly able to influence policy affecting his business holdings. Think America's dealings with, say, Germany might be warped a bit by the fact that the Trump Organization owes so much money to Deutsche Bank? Think his IRS audits might come to a more rapid and favorable conclusion than he deserves because now the IRS will answer to him? There is also the Emolument Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which forbids American office-holders from receiving "any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State" without Congress's consent; we could easily imagine certain policy decisions of a Trump Administration leading to "presents" or "emoluments" ("emolument" being roughly equivalent to a salary or fee) for the President. We would be better describe this phenomenon, of course, as corruption. So People for the American Way helps you tell your Senators to support the Warren/Merkley bill that would require Presidents and Vice Presidents to divest from their business and corporate holdings before taking office.