For Immediate Release: November 20, 2007
DES MOINES, IA. — Retired generals and admirals with backgrounds in combat operations, intelligence, law and medicine will meet here with presidential candidates in December to discuss U.S. detention and interrogation policies.
The group of senior officers will gather in Des Moines from December 1 through December 3 for private meetings with presidential candidates to discuss the role of the next Commander-in-Chief in ensuring that interrogation and prisoner treatment policies are consistent with the welfare of the military and with American laws, values and interests.
All candidates from both parties have been invited to meet privately with the retired military group for one hour each. The group of retired generals and admirals is nonpartisan and will not endorse any candidate.
The gathering will be co-chaired by two retired four-star generals with wide-ranging experience: General Joseph P. Hoar, former Commander in Chief of Central Command, which includes the Middle East, and General David M. Maddox, former Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe.
The group of retired generals and admirals is traveling to Iowa for the express purpose of educating presidential candidates about the importance of abiding by the rule of law and the impact that policies of official cruelty and prisoner abuse have on the safety of American military personnel and the values they fight to defend. The group held the first of these meetings with candidates in April in Concord, New Hampshire. By organizing this meeting and traveling to states with a key role in the election process, the group of admirals and generals intend to underscore the fundamental importance of these issues to members of the United States Armed Forces, to the current campaign, and for the next Commander-in-Chief.
The gathering, which takes place from December 1st through December 3rd, is hosted by Human Rights First, a non-partisan non-profit group based in New York and Washington.
Along with the co-chairs, the retired military participants include:
Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn, USN (Ret.)
Vice Admiral Albert H. Konetzni Jr. (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Charles P. Otstott, USA (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Harry E. Soyster, USA (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Don Guter, USN (Ret.)
Major General Fred E. Haynes, USMC (Ret.)
Major General Melvyn S. Montano, ANG (Ret.)
Major General William L. Nash, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General James Cullen, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General John H. Johns, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General Murray G. Sagsveen, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General Stephen N. Xenakis, USA (Ret.)