By Ann Burroughs, Chair of AIUSA’s Board of Directors
Donald Trump has made it clear he desires convey again torture. “We should go much stronger than waterboarding,” he stated final yr, calling it “your minor form” of torture.
Now he’s picked Rep. Mike Pompeo to go the CIA – a person who known as the CIA’s program of torture and disappearing below the Bush administration “within the law” and “within the Constitution.”
We can’t let Trump convey again the CIA torture program. Trump’s choose for CIA chief should reject torture – and decide to upholding the legislation.
That’s why this week, Amnesty International USA’s Board of Directors wrote the Senate Intelligence Committee urging senators to hunt Pompeo’s express dedication to upholding U.S. and worldwide legislation on torture and different ill-treatment.
The combat towards torture below the Trump administration begins with you – Take action.
Our letter factors out that 4 of the people most just lately confirmed to direct the CIA—Porter Goss, Leon Panetta, General David Petraeus and John Brennan—used their affirmation hearings to sentence torture as morally reprehensible and inconsistent with U.S. values and authorized commitments. “These are values we have fought for, that Americans have died for over the course of decades and centuries,” General Petraeus testified.
But this isn’t about whether or not Trump or Pompeo agree with us that torture is mistaken. Regardless of their private views, torture is a criminal offense. It violates unequivocal U.S. and worldwide legislation, together with legal guidelines lengthy supported by members of each events. Here are only a few examples:
- The U.S. led within the negotiation of the UN Convention Against Torture, and President Ronald Reagan, who signed it in April 1988, wrote that its ratification “will clearly express [U.S.] opposition to torture.”
- Federal legislation makes torture and ill-treatment illegal without exception—irrespective of the place an individual is held (at Guantánamo, in secret prisons—wherever).
- Federal legislation additionally bans the CIA, the navy and different brokers from particular abusive “techniques” like waterboarding, pressured nudity and different sexual abuse, hooding, mock executions and beatings. That’s because of a law championed by torture survivor John McCain and Dianne Feinstein.
Bottom line: Torture will not be a coverage choices to debate on the deserves, however an unlawful follow.
Tell your senators you count on them to talk up – and demand Pompeo decide to upholding the legislation. Take action.
Human rights are non-negotiable below each president, together with President-elect Trump. More than ever, it’s important that every one of us on this nation search to face between the torturer and the tortured.