ST. PAUL, Minn. —More than 100 prominent leaders in the foreign policy, national security, military and faith sectors—including Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Former Secretaries of Defense William S. Cohen and Chuck Hagel, and Jim Winkler, president and general secretary of The National Council of Churches—have added their names to the “Call to Reject Torture,” released today by the Center for Victims of TortureTM (CVT).
“Today, we are calling on all people of the United States to reject torture absolutely, and on all public officials to explicitly disavow and adhere to legal bans on torture,” said Curt Goering, CVT’s executive director. “Amid calls to return to torture spurred by recent terror attacks, increases in the percentage of Americans supporting torture, and glorified depictions of torture in film and television, it is essential that the American public knows the truth about torture and its impact. And more than 100 senior-level thought leaders stand with us today to declare: We unequivocally reject torture.”
The “Call to Reject Torture” clearly outlines these truths:
Torture is illegal: Torture is a crime under both international and domestic law—the ban against torture is absolute. It is not allowed in a time of war, national emergency, or in the name of national security.
Torture is immoral: To support torture is to support a practice that violates the inherent dignity of human beings and violates spiritual integrity.
Torture makes us less safe as a country: In resorting to torture of security suspects, the U.S. has strengthened the resolve of its adversaries. Torture also alienates partners and puts the U.S. in the company of human rights violators whose actions we deplore and condemn.
These truths make up key arguments for the broad bipartisan opposition to the use of torture, as evidenced by the diversity among those who have signed the document.
“By having such a diverse group commit to a unified statement, we will further solidify the bipartisan consensus against torture in the United States and prevent this country from ever going down that road again,” added Goering.
The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit organization headquartered in St. Paul, MN, with offices in Atlanta, GA, and Washington, D.C.; and healing initiatives in Africa and the Middle East.
The mission of the Center for Victims of Torture is to heal the wounds of torture on individuals, their families and their communities and to end torture worldwide.