Thursday, April 28, 2011

Honoring Those Who Opposed Torture

Here's a program I can get behind: giving medals and promotions to the many Americans who opposed, protested, and spoke out against torture. Jameel Jaffer and Larry Siems list some of the people, named and unnamed, who stood up for justice:

Spec. Joseph M. Darby, a 24-year-old Army reservist who found pictures of people in his company abusing captives at Abu Ghraib and sent them to the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, starting the whole Abu Ghraib scandal.

Alberto J. Mora, general counsel of the Navy, who campaigned against the interrogation methods Rumsfeld approved for Guantanamo, calling them “unlawful and unworthy of the military services.”

John L. Helgerson, Inspector General of the CIA, who investigated complaints filed by CIA officers about the treatment of prisoners in secret detention facilities, eventually issuing a detailed and damning report that probably did more than anything else to curtail those abuses.

The many military prosecutors who refused to touch evidence obtained from torture:
One, Lt. Col. Stuart Couch of the Marines, said the abuse violated basic religious precepts of human dignity. Another, Lt. Col. Darrel J. Vandeveld of the Army, filed an affidavit in support of the child prisoner he had been assigned to prosecute.
I agree with Jaffer and Siems that honoring these men and women is one of the best things the Obama administration could do to keep abuses like these from happening again.

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