Sharon Kelly / Human Rights First – 2009-05-14 22:20:27
(May 14, 2009) — Fox News on Saturday. Meet the Press on Sunday. In the wake of several investigations into the Bush administration’s use of torture, and despite expert evidence to the contrary, Former Vice President Cheney has been all over the press saying that torture actually worked.
Why is he suddenly making such a loud case for torture? His side of the debate is trying to drown out new evidence that torture actually weakened American security.
The scary thing is, even today, as we heard new testimony from seasoned FBI interrogator Ali Soufan showing why torture does not work and how the Bush administration’s insistence on using these techniques actually hurt our intelligence gathering — much of the public is only hearing Cheney’s side of the debate.
So today we need your help to push back. Urge President Obama to set up a nonpartisan inquiry on torture to evaluate the full cost of abuses, look at how we got there, and come up with safeguards so we don’t repeat the same mistakes.
Your action isn’t just critical to making sure we inform the public — even some Senators aren’t listening to the evidence of experts. In a Senate hearing today, FBI interrogator Ali Soufan clearly laid out in his testimony that “harsh interrogation methods are harmful, shameful, slower, unreliable, ineffective, and play directly into the enemy’s handbook.”
Senator Lindsey Graham — who has zero interrogation experience or expertise — actually responded, “One of the reasons these techniques have survived for about 500 years is apparently they work.”
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Even before today’s testimony, Human Rights First has worked with dozens of experienced interrogators and retired generals and admirals who firmly stand against torture, as an inhumane – and ineffective – technique.
The reality is that there is no debate, and this false back and forth about torture’s effectiveness is keeping us from moving forward. Help us increase the pressure – support a nonpartisan inquiry to get to the truth and make sure we never make the same mistake again!
Full Petition Text:
We call on the President of the United States to establish an independent, non-partisan commission to examine and report publicly on torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of detainees in the period since September 11, 2001.
The commission, comparable in stature to the 9/11 Commission, should look into the facts and circumstances of such abuses, report on lessons learned, and recommend measures that would prevent any future abuses.
We believe that the commission is necessary to reaffirm America’s commitment to the Constitution, international treaty obligations, and human rights. The report issued by the commission will strengthen U.S. national security and help to re-establish America’s standing in the world.