For Immediate Release: November 1, 2011
Former Guantanamo Bay chief prosecutor: Torture was wrong, prison should be closed
People of faith agree
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ten years after the United States opened the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, its former chief prosecutor condemned the prison as a “law free zone” that tortured detainees. In response to news reports that retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Morris Davis has again spoken out against torture at the prison at Guantanamo Bay and urged the government to close the detention center, Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, released the following statement today praising Davis’ perspective and message:
"As the United States’ former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay, Colonel Davis knows what he is talking about when he says that our government ‘turned our backs on the law.’ The U.S. government’s use of torture as an interrogation technique at Guantanamo Bay was both illegal and immoral. Colonel Davis also has said that while the U.S. military opposed torture because of its ineffectiveness, inexperienced political appointees were the ones responsible for ordering its use.
Colonel Davis is also right that it is past time we close the prison at Guantanamo. Guantanamo is an ongoing symbol of the U.S. government’s use of torture, and its continued existence as a jail for detainees raises the specter of a resumption of the torture program.
People of faith know that torture is wrong. Lawyers know that torture is illegal. Soldiers know that it does not work. Our intelligence services have told us that its use has been a potent recruiting tool for Al Qaeda. On behalf of the more than 300 religious groups of all faiths that support the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, we thank Colonel Davis for his commitment to the rule of law, and we hope that his words are remembered when future policymakers consider whether or not to order the use of illegal, ineffective, and immoral interrogation techniques.”
The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) is a growing membership organization committed to ending U.S.-sponsored torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Since its formation in January 2006, more than 300 religious organizations have joined NRCAT, including representatives from the Catholic, evangelical Christian, mainline Protestant, Unitarian Universalist, Quaker, Orthodox Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Baha’i, Buddhist, and Sikh communities. Members include national denominations and faith groups, regional organizations and local congregations.