This last week, Senator John McCain spoke out against torture, saying “I don’t give a damn what the President of the United States wants to do, we will not waterboard. We will not torture. We will not torture people, and sometime I hope we can get David Petraeus up to this forum. He’s one of the great military leaders. He’ll tell you it doesn’t work. My friends, it doesn’t work. If you inflict pain on somebody long enough, they’re going to tell you whatever they think you want to hear to have it stopped.”
We are sending a letter to Senator McCain, regarding his statement:
Thank you for stating unequivocally that any agency of the U.S. government that starts waterboarding will be hauled into court. It was good to hear you say of our country that we will not torture people, now that Congress has passed a law that is consistent with our decades-old treaty obligations under the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Your statement at the Halifax International Security Forum was desperately needed as Donald Trump prepares to take control of the administration.
We at Witness Against Torture have long opposed the abhorrent treatment of the men being held at Guantánamo: both the torture methods used in “enhanced interrogation” and the cruel dehumanizing conditions of their detention. We have visited your office as well as other Congressional offices asking that you release and provide reparations to the men in Guantánamo who have been tortured. The closest we got to that goal was for Congress to acknowledge (in a perversely redacted manner) that torture occurred, with no accountability for the atrocities committed in the name of the American public.
We have petitioned the Department of Justice, called and written letters to Attorneys General, and rallied and held vigils outside their doors, demanding that those responsible for justifying and orchestrating the program of torture be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
At this moment, as Trump is working to pervert the constitution, the Republican party, and the American military, it is refreshing and encouraging to hear you speak loudly in favor of a zero-tolerance stance toward torture. We hope that you will continue to make your voice heard. As long as you continue to do so, we will work to amplify your message and stand with you in the fight for a torture-free America.
Yours in peace,
Witness Against Torture