NGOs Representing Thousands of Americans Push for Power to Enforce U.S. Human Rights and Anti-torture Treaties

38 NGOs to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "The Third Degree is unchecked judicial misconduct; the ineffectiveness of domestic remedies is an integral part of its pathology. Ironically to be secure in our privileges and immunities and republican form of government, Americans need the option of mediation as anticipated by the Optional Protocols of America’s (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) and (Convention Against Torture)."
By: The Third Degree
Campaign to Ratify ICCPR and CAT Optional Protocols and Combat THE THIRD DEGREE
Campaign to Ratify ICCPR and CAT Optional Protocols and Combat THE THIRD DEGREE
CROWN POINT, Ind. - Sept. 15, 2015 - PRLog -- Today, 38 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) representing thousands of Americans are submitting a joint request to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that it promptly arrange for the United States to ratify the Optional Protocols for both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). Although America ratified these human rights and anti-torture treaties in 1976 and 1987 respectively, it never adopted the corresponding Optional Protocols which establish “additional rights and obligations”. As a result, the U.N. Human Rights Committee (HRC) cannot review the complaints of Americans subjected to ICCPR and/or CAT violations in the U.S. by U.S. officials.

America has not recognized “the competence of the (HRC) to receive and consider (what are described as) communications from (Americans who claim to be victims of U.S. human rights and/or anti-torture treaty violations).” The U.S.-based NGOs, including online groups and communities pushing to change that U.S. foreign policy stance, primarily advocate for domestic legal system reform and whistleblower protection. Their outreach to Senator Bob Corker (R - TN) as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is coined “Opt IN USA”. The campaign is spearheaded by National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project, Inc., a nonprofit legal reform organization known as The Law Project (TLP).

On June 1, 2015, TLP co-founders reported to the HRC what has been dubbed “The Third Degree”, a persistent national pattern of persecution and torture imposed through abuse of U.S. legal systems. As is explained to Senator Corker by the referenced NGO letter, “(d)espite what the complainants thought were their reasonable efforts to confirm the viability of that communication, the U.N. Petitions and Inquiries Section subsequently advised them that neither the . . . ICCPR nor the . . . CAT has been signed, ratified, or acceded to by the U.S.” According to Dr. Andrew D. Jackson, one of the complainants, “all freedom-loving Americans should object to our country’s hypocrisy and self-isolation when it comes to human rights enforcement, but it can be a matter of life and death for targets of The Third Degree.”

During a September 14, 2015 internet radio broadcast, Dr. Jackson explained that his HRC submission along with fellow TLP co-founders “attributes 5 specific goals to the scheme (that is The Third Degree) and contends that (it) is implemented through 7 distinct U.S. legal system abuses.” Attorney Zena Crenshaw-Logal*, TLP’s Executive Director and a co-founder of the nonprofit, elaborated during this “Progress In The World” radio talk show. Crenshaw-Logal attested to their being “Americans who could never get a fair and impartial consideration of their judicial misconduct allegations, now being persecuted and maybe even psychologically tortured in apparent retaliation for being persistent and perhaps effective in challenging judicial misconduct.”

As part of their Progress In The World appearance, Jackson and Crenshaw-Logal attributed the connection between U.S. judicial misconduct and foreign policy concerns to a theory of Dr. Shreya Mandal. They described Mandal as “a licensed mental health therapist with extensive experience in the full spectrum of trauma and complex trauma (with) a Master of Social Work degree from Smith College School for Social Work and a post Masters degree from Harvard Medical School, specifically Harvard’s Program in Refugee Trauma.” Mandal is also a criminal defense lawyer and a TLP board member.

Crenshaw-Logal shared with radio listeners that “(s)hortly before Dr. Mandal joined The Law Project’s board of directors, she introduced to the world the idea that in repeatedly violating a person’s federal rights, U.S. state and federal government officials could actually torture a person, even in the absence of physical violence.” Crenshaw-Logal described contemplating that concept and added, “I know there is good reason to conclude that several Americans over the last 10 -20 years did not receive a fair and impartial consideration of their judicial misconduct allegations by any U.S. court or disciplinary agency and neither a legislator nor a prosecutor would initiate a reasonably thorough government investigation of their claims, leaving them to suffer devastating losses.” She went on to say, “(n)ow this scenario is bad enough, but what I have noticed is when it becomes the springboard for what many people would consider embarrassing criticism of a certain judge or group of judges or America’s judiciary, it is not unusual for the citizen whistleblower to find himself or herself impoverished, criminally prosecuted, or even dying under questionable circumstances which may include interim death threats.” Crenshaw-Logal attested to a final trend: “no matter how compelling the circumstantial evidence of government retaliation for this whistleblowing, there is rarely as in pretty much never any relief to be found in the U.S.” and concluded “(w)e call this phenomenon The Third Degree.”

In addition to meeting with the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee as part of Opt IN USA, district office constituent meetings are being coordinated to encourage U.S. Representatives to push for U.S. ratification of the ICCPR and CAT Optional Protocols and federal as well as state legislative investigations of The Third Degree. To learn more about and join the effort, navigate to Opt IN USA at “I am NOT silent” is the campaign’s Facebook page and can be found at

Zena Crenshaw-Logal, Esq.*
219 865 6774


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