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ACTION ALERT: Torture Is Un-American


November 5, 2007
Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Ret.) / EndTorture08.org

Commentary: "I taught prisoner of war interrogation for 18 years to US Army soldiers. Neither I nor the Army taught torture: it's morally wrong, it endangers our own troops who may be taken prisoner, it undermines our values, and it does not produce reliable information. I've listened to some of our current leaders say that we should use torture — what they call "enhanced" interrogation techniques — to combat terrorism. Abandoning our principles is never the answer. An expert interrogator needs to be clever, not inhumane.

http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/us_law/etn/elect08/index-ga.aspx

One year from today, we can elect a President who 'gets it' - and rejects it. Thirty seconds from now, you can make a difference.
Sign the petition today!

Torture Is Un-American
Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Ret.) / EndTorture08.org

I taught prisoner of war interrogation for 18 years to US Army soldiers. Neither I nor the Army taught torture: it's morally wrong, it endangers our own troops who may be taken prisoner, it undermines our values, and it does not produce reliable information.

I've listened to some of our current leaders say that we should use torture — what they call "enhanced" interrogation techniques — to combat terrorism. Abandoning our principles is never the answer. An expert interrogator needs to be clever, not inhumane.

Strong presidential leadership is needed to restore our nation's stature in the eyes of the civilized world. Today, one year from the presidential election, I am adding my name to Human Rights First's petition, urging all of the presidential candidates to restore our nation's honor. You can do the same.

Take 30 seconds to put your name next to mine. Restore what America stands for: human rights and the rule of law.

This isn't about being tough on terrorists. It's about what's in the strategic interest of the United States. Torture doesn't produce reliable information but it does harden hearts and minds against us, and torture by any agency of our government puts our own troops at greater risk. It's time to stop playing semantic games about what torture is.

If you're like me, you want a President who is truly devoted to this country, its longstanding laws, and its fundamental values. A President who will:

• Stop shipping prisoners to countries known to torture
• Close Guantanamo
• Restore the right of habeas corpus
• Ensure that torture is never again a part of U.S. policy

• Get on board - sign TODAY. This is not a partisan endeavor.

In one year, we could be celebrating the election of a leader who understands what's at stake. But only if we demand it today! Thank you for joining me and Human Rights First as we end torture and abuse in America's name.

Yours sincerely,
Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Ret.)



Text of Petition
Restoring America’s Honor:

Five Steps to Put an End to Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment


Dear Candidates for US President,

In order for United States national security policy to be strong and effective, it must be consistent with the laws and values of our nation. The Bush Administration’s detention and interrogation policies have led to torture and other abuses, undermining American values, staining our reputation in the world and compromising our global leadership, jeopardizing our national security, and increasing the danger to members of the U.S. military serving abroad.

The next president will have the opportunity to get the United States back on track. I am asking you to pledge that if you are elected President you will ensure that detention, interrogation and trial procedures adhere to international and domestic law so that the United States can reclaim the authority to enforce these standards to protect our own troops abroad and promote the values that define our nation.

As a candidate for the highest office of the land, you must let the American people know what actions you will take to:

• Put an end to torture and ensure a single standard of humane treatment for all interrogations conducted by U.S. personnel -- including by the CIA and private contractors.
• Halt the "extraordinary rendition" of detainees to countries known to torture prisoners.
• Close Guantanamo and try detainees suspected of committing crimes in accordance with international and U.S. law.
• Urge Congress to restore the right of habeas corpus to non-citizens – including longtime permanent residents of the U.S. – to ensure that courts can oversee the decision to detain anyone as an "unlawful enemy combatant."
• Ensure that trials of detainees are full and fair. Any trials by military commissions will be conducted consistent with the Uniform Code of Military Justice and in compliance with the procedures set forth in the Manual for Courts-Martial.

Having a plan to end torture and cruel treatment is not only a necessary part of a credible national security platform for a candidate, it is the very essence of what is required of a president who is committed "to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." I thank you for your devotion to your country.

Sincerely yours,


• Join more than 19,159 other Americans for Human Rights and stand against torture.

Count me in! I want a US President who will not allow torture to happen again in America’s name. All U.S. personnel must uphold the absolute ban on torture and cruel treatment with no exceptions. I do not tolerate "outsourcing" torture or holding prisoners in secret.

Once you sign, we will keep you posted about the range of ways you can "Elect to End Torture" throughout the 2008 presidential campaign.

Human Rights First is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3), international human rights organization based in New York and Washington D.C. We do not favor or oppose any candidate for public office.

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