Letter to the Editor

Bin Laden’s Death Does Not Vindicate Torture

Featured Op-eds
"Torture is never an acceptable response" by Scott Anderson, LaCrosse Tribune
"Torture still wrong, even after bin Laden's death" by Rev. J. Edwin Bacon, Pasadena Star-News
"Torture Didn't and Doesn't Make us Safer" by Linda Gustitus
"Torture is never justified" by Rev. Reid Hamilton, Detroit Free Press
"With Bin Laden's Death, Torture Is Still Not The Answer" by Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster

Letters to the Editor
"Was ‘enhanced interrogation’ worth it?" by Suzanne O'Hatnick, Washington Post
"Letters to the editor, May 11, 2011" by Rev. Jill Saxby, Portland Press Herald
"Tracking dragons doesn’t require torture for kill" by Bob Spencer, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

Other Commentaries
"Even if torture works, it is still immoral" by Steven D. Martin and Richard Cizik, Washington Post
"Bin Laden’s death and the debate over torture" by John McCain, Washington Post
"Bin Laden’s Death Does Not Prove that Torture Works" by Sarah Sentilles, Religion Dispatches
"Torture apologists stain triumph over bin Laden" by Charles Fried and Gregory Fried, Washington Post

News Stories
"Bin Laden Raid Revives Debate on Value of Torture" by Scott Shane and Charlie Savage, New York Times

Officials who helped to establish the U.S. torture program have made statements claiming that torture led to the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden. NRCAT issued a press release calling for a full accounting of the facts through establishment of a Commission of Inquiry. Please help us respond to the claims of the torture proponents by writing a letter to the editor of your local paper.

Talking points are provided below. Please personalize your letter in order to make it relevant to your newspaper and your community.

Letters should be short and direct. You may find these detailed tips helpful as you prepare your letter. Please note that most newspapers limit the length of a letter to the editor to about 150 words. You’ll need to check your newspaper's website or editorial page for specific instructions on policies and procedures for submission.


  • We need to learn the right lesson from the recent success of the effort to find Osama bin Laden.
  • Torture did not lead us to bin Laden – the information that led to bin Laden came from a variety of sources and took many years to piece together.
  • The use of torture cost us the support of potential allies who might have helped us find bin Laden sooner.
  • Torture frequently results in false information because a victim of torture will say anything to get torture to stop.
  • American use of torture has helped Al Qaeda recruitment efforts.
  • As a person of faith and a supporter of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, I know that torture is immoral and illegal – it is a tactic unworthy of our great nation.
  • We need a full accounting of the facts, not unsubstantiated claims. We need a comprehensive investigation into the U.S. torture program, which could be accomplished by a Commission of Inquiry. 

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