To: The honorable members of the United States Congress. This petition will be sent on September 15, 2005. We, the undersigned residents of the State of North Carolina, wish to express our grave concerns about the officially santioned use of torture by United States intelligence agents, military personnel, and contractors. The practice of torture is wrong and not consistent with the democratic values we hold as a beacon to the rest of the world. As Patrick Henry declared, \"The rack, the thumb screw . . . were left behind in the Old World for good reason. If permitted in this country, we are \'lost and undone.\'\" The torture of any human being is flatly prohibited by our domestic laws as well as our international treaties, even during times of war. We insist that these laws be respected and enforced. Discarding the Geneva Conventions only places our own service men and women at greater risk of being tortured. The political leaders and governmental officals who have shaped US policies leading to the use of torture during interrogations should be held accountable. We are disturbed by our country\'s failure to prosecute these \"authors\" of the torture practiced in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. Instead, the young soldiers who obeyed their orders at Abu Ghraib have faced criminal charges alone. Clearly, the tortures were widespread and authorized by US officials at the highest levels. Lastly, the use of torture will not lead to national security, but engenders greater hatred towards all Americans. This endangers our country as well as the lives of our soldiers. We demand that: 1. All forms of mental and physical torture be banned once and for all--whether carried out directly, by \"proxy\" through contractors, or by outsourcing prisoners to other countries known to perpetrate torture. 2. All cases involving torture by US personnel or contractors by fully declassified. 3. The politicans and other governmental officals promoting the use of torture be investigated and brought to trial when warranted.