A letter to the editor from Human Rights First President Michael Posner appears in today’s New York Times:
Those Leaders Who Enable Torture
To the Editor:
Re “The Torture Sessions” (editorial, April 20):
You say that it will take a new president and Congress to finally see accountability on torture. With America’s global leadership and moral authority on the line, nine months is too long to wait.
Fortunately, the remaining presidential candidates are all on record opposing torture and official cruelty. Anyone who followed the early presidential debates — when many of the candidates sought to outdo one another on who was more in favor of abusive interrogation — knows that this outcome was not a given.
Human Rights First has had the privilege over the last few years of working with a growing number of retired senior military leaders to share their messages with candidates and the public. They believe, as we do, that human rights and national security are mutually reinforcing, and that resort to torture and cruel treatment is wrong and counterproductive.
The presidential candidates seem to have gotten the message. But ultimately, it is up to the American people to keep the pressure on all of our current and future elected officials to demand an end to torture and abuse.
President, Human Rights First
New York, April 21, 2008