As the Guardian points out, one of the signees includes Harvard's Laurence Tribe, who instructed President Obama in constitutional law and was a legal adviser in the justice department under the Obama Administration until three months ago
UN torture representative
suggests White House
stalling his private meeting
with American soldier
A senior United Nations representative on torture, Juan Mendez, issued a rare reprimand to the US government on Monday for failing to allow him to meet in private Bradley Manning, the American soldier accused of being the WikiLeaks source and held in a military prison. It is the kind of censure the UN normally reserves for authoritarian regimes around the world.
Mendez, the UN special rapporteur on torture, said: "I am deeply disappointed and frustrated by the prevarication of the US government with regard to my attempts to visit Mr Manning."
Manning's supporters claim that the US is being vindictive in its treatment of Manning, who is held at the marine base at Quantico, Virginia, in conditions they describe as inhumane.