|HARD MEASURES or HARD TRUTHS?|
For Immediate Release: April 25, 2012
Contact: Samantha Friedman, office: (202) 265-3000 or email@example.com
HARD MEASURES or HARD TRUTHS?
Jose Rodriguez is wrong – torture is immoral, illegal, and doesn’t save lives
Washington, D.C. – Today, the first reports came out on a forthcoming book by Jose Rodriguez, former chief of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center, in which he claims that torture led to last year’s capture of Osama bin Laden. The book, Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives, will be released to the public on April 30. Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, released this statement today in response to reports on the book’s content:
“Jose Rodriguez shames himself in trying to publicly justify the use of torture during interrogations of 9-11 detainees. He is wrong to have engaged in torture then and continues to be wrong in defending it. The central argument he makes is that torture is justifiable because it worked. He tries to make us believe that interrogation ‘techniques’ that were originally developed in North Korea to make U.S. prisoners sign false confessions is an efficient means to acquire reliable information. He is wrong, and the results of a four-year Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into past CIA interrogations are likely to prove him wrong by showing that torture produced unreliable information and helped turn people against us. If, though, he continues to claim that he is correct, I hope that he will join me in calling for the results of that investigation to be made public.
More importantly, whether or not torture works is not the primary issue. Torture is unacceptable and illegal under all circumstances. The United States joined 149 other nations in signing the UN Convention Against Torture in 1994 and agreed to abide by the following proscription: ‘No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.’
The United States’ past use of torture was a terrible, reprehensible mistake, but, as Mahatma Gandhi has said, ‘An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation.’ Rodriguez, like former President George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney before him, believe if they say it enough, the United States’ reprehensible legacy of using torture will somehow be righted.
The world will not be fooled by these brazen claims. What the United States did was wrong, morally and legally. It also cost us the safety and undoubtedly, the lives, of American soldiers. It is time to make amends, to apologize for the wrong and commit to never letting it happen again.”