We learned this week from the Guardian that the CIA has long had "explicit guidelines" for "human experimentation," specifically, that "(t)he CIA shall not sponsor, contract for, or conduct research on human subjects except in accordance with guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Human Services" and, moreover, that "(t)he subject's informed consent shall be documented as required by those guidelines." I'm guessing that HHS has never approved giving "war on terror"-related prisoners mefloquine, known to induce terror, or scopolamine, a putative truth serum. It gets worse: torture of prisoners often went on so long, and involved so many medical personnel, that it essentially became "human experimentation," which, as we've noted, requires consent from the subject -- which the CIA clearly didn't have. We can't rule out the possibility that our government fully understood that one could "interpret" torture as human experimentation in order to avoid calling it torture, as one former war-crimes investigator says. Any way you cut it, it's evil. Roots Action helps you tell Congress to prosecute torture.
Meanwhile, Rootstrikers helps you tell Congress to pass S. 1538, the Fair Elections Now Act. You likely remember the Fair Elections Now Act -- it's been around so long that, once upon a time, a Republican co-sponsored it; now its 18 sponsors are either Democrats or Bernie Sanders. Its passage is no less crucial now, though -- and is perhaps more crucial, now that two Supreme Court decisions have demolished whatever firewall we once had against corporate campaign finance, and more than four out of five Americans (as the New York Times reported last week) now says we need to "fundamentally change" or "completely rebuild" our election-funding system. The Fair Elections Now Act would create a fund that would match small donations (no, really small, like $5 or $25) on a six-to-one basis. The Act would not, in case you were wondering, prevent people from self-financing -- it would merely prevent them from getting public funding if they do. And let's hope we are not too decadent a society that we can't shame self-financers in an election.
Finally, some Congressfolk are planning yet again to completely eliminate Title X family planning funding, so Planned Parenthood helps you tell Congress to prioritize women's health above politics. You'll see the words "family planning" and you might think it's all about abortion, but it isn't -- our federal government cannot, by law, spend any money on abortions. No, Title X funding goes toward things like birth control, cancer screenings, HIV testing, and the like. And the effort to zero out Title X funding would disproportionally affect both low-income women and rural women who might not have access to these services if our government didn't help provide them. If you're still not convinced, recall that our health care system will have to treat the illnesses rural and low-income women get sooner or later, and the later one waits, the more it costs, not just them but all of us, since we all, ultimately, bear the cost of health care in America. See? Often times, the right thing to do is also the pragmatic thing to do, and more often than right-wingers would like us to think, too.