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6.29.2007

the kids in america

This is awesome. Earlier this week, President Bush was presented with a letter signed by 50 high school seniors in the Presidential Scholars program urging a halt to human rights violations of terror suspects held by the United States: Scholars Urge Bush to Ban Use of Torture. The students were invited to the White House to hear the president speak about his effort to win congressional reauthorization of his "No Child Left Behind" education law. Hooray for that, but the students apparently decided to seize the opportunity to address the issue of torture while they had the President's attention. Japanese American student Mari Oye was the one who physically handed the letter to Bush. Here's some great video of the students being interviewed on CNN: Scholars confront president. The handwritten letter said the students "believe we have a responsibility to voice our convictions." Indeed. I don't know about you, but I'm impressed.

UPDATE: Here's the content of the students' letter to President Bush:
Mr. President.

As members of the presidential scholars class of 2007, we have been told that we represent the best and brightest of our nation. Therefore, we believe we have a responsibility to voice our convictions. We do not want America to represent torture. We urge you to do all in your power to stop violations of the human rights of detainees, to cease illegal renditions and to apply the Geneva Convention to all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants.

Signed
And here's a Boston Globe article on Mari Oye: Presidential scholar confronts the president. Some of the other Presidential Scholars apparently weren't pleased with the presentation of the letter. I say, hell yes, Mari. You did what you had to do.