Dennis Bartlett

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Dennis Bartlett is the Executive Director of the American Bail Coalition.[1] "The American Bail Coalition is the commercial bail bond industry’s national organization and lobbying wing, and plays a major role in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)."[2]

Bartlett has been a member of the ALEC since 1998. As of 2011, he is listed serving as on the corporate Executive Committee of ALEC's Public Safety and Elections Task Force.[3]

Bartlett spoke on pretrial release in Austin, TX at the 2002 ALEC Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL on August 9, 2002.

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's, and check out breaking news on our site.

According to an American Bail Coalition newsletter released in 2010, "During its two decade involvement with ALEC, ABC has written 12 model bills fortifying the commercial bail industry. In addition to the model bills, ALEC has issued ABC sponsored State Factors, Legislative Briefs, and studies related to the bail issue. The major reason behind this focus was to offset the threat posed to commercial bail."[4] ABC pushes for the commercialization of bail; some states, such as Wisconsin, have bail handled by courts rather than by for-profit corporations.


Bartlett previously worked for the Central Intelligence Agency and as deputy chief of INTERPOL Washington. He has Masters degrees in International Relations from the University of Southern California and in philosophy from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California, as well as a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of San Francisco. He served as a Naval Reserve Intelligence Officer in the late 1960s.[5]

Perspective on Water Boarding

In 2009, he wrote an article for The Catholic Thing, a "forum for intelligent Catholic commentary," where he defended waterboarding as "very effective, and equally harmless" and said it could not be classified as "real torture" based on his experience of having it done to him as part of a "survival, evasion, resistance, and escape" episode at the "Resistance Training Laboratory" -- a simulated POW camp -- after receiving his commission as a U.S. Naval intelligence officer. He pointed out that he knew "that the whole exercise would only last about thirty hours and that it was really just POW theater -- and that we would be back at the club at NAS North Island for happy hour on Saturday night. . ." and that "most guys quickly laughed it off."[6] Water torture dates back at least to the torture techniques employed by the Catholic Church during the Spanish Inquisition; the United States prosecuted Japanese soldiers for waterboarding torture after WWII.[7]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

External resources

External articles


  1. American Legislative Exchange Council Private Sector Executive Committee, organization website, accessed June 2, 2011
  2. Brendan Fischer Wisconsin: Open for Bounty Hunters,, June 9, 2011
  3. American Legislative Exchange Council Private Sector Executive Committee, organizational website, accessed June 2, 2011
  4. American Bail Coalition [ ABC Newsletter October 2010], organizational newsletter, October 2010, p. 3
  5. American Legislative Exchange Council Private Sector Executive Committee, organization website, accessed June 2, 2011
  6. Dennis Bartlett Water Boarding, Torture, and Me, The Catholic Thing, May 20, 2009
  7. Human Rights Watch, Vice President Endorses Torture, online report, October 25, 2006