For Immediate Release: October 21, 2008
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Two retired three-star generals will discuss the importance of using interrogation methods that are effective, lawful and humane, and the importance of the commander-in-chief setting the highest standards for all U.S. personnel in the treatment of prisoners at 11:45 am on Thursday, October 23rd at the University of Virginia Law School.
Retired military leaders Lieutenant General Harry E. Soyster, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency during Operation Desert Shield/Storm, and Lieutenant General Charles Otstott, the former deputy chairman of the NATO Military Committee, will address questions about the use and legality of so called “enhanced interrogation techniques” - issues which continue to be prominent in the presidential campaign and in the media. They will underscore the need to ensure that the United States’ interrogation and prisoner treatment policies enhance our national security, protect our troops and are consistent with American laws, values and interests.
Soyster and Otstott are members of a larger group of retired generals and admirals who are working to ensure that U.S. policy reflects a single standard of prisoner treatment consistent with the Geneva Conventions. During the presidential primary season, the group traveled to New Hampshire and Iowa where they met individually with eight presidential candidates from both parties. Members of the group also participated in forums on the topic of interrogation policy in South Carolina and Florida in advance of those states’ primary elections.
Recently, the group participated in events at both the Democratic and Republican national conventions and advocated for the inclusion of strong, anti-torture language in both parties’ platforms. These retired military leaders are continuing to travel to key states in the presidential campaign because they are committed to ensuring that the next commander-in-chief understands the fundamental importance of prisoner treatment issues to members of the United States Armed Forces.
The University of Virginia forum is co-sponsored by the Law School’s Human Rights Program, the Center for National Security Law, Virginia Law Veterans, the J.B. Moore Society of International Law and the Virginia Journal of International Law, with Human Rights First.
Where: University of Virginia Law School, Caplin Pavilion
When: October 23, 2008; 11:45 a.m.
Who: Lieutenant General Charles Otstott and Lieutenant General Harry E. Soyster.
This event is free and open to the public.
Lieutenant General Charles Otstott, USA (Ret.)
General Otstott served 32 years in the Army. As an Infantryman, he commanded at every echelon including command of the 25th Infantry Division (Light) from 1988-1990. His service included two combat tours in Vietnam. He completed his service in uniform as Deputy Chairman, NATO Military Committee, 1990-1992.
Lieutenant General Harry E. Soyster, USA (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Soyster served as Director, Defense Intelligence Agency during DESERT SHIELD/STORM. He also served as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Department of the Army, Commanding General, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command and in the Joint Reconnaissance Center, Joint Chiefs of Staff. In Vietnam he was an operations officer in a field artillery battalion. Upon retirement he was VP for International Operations with Miltary Professional Resources Incorporated and returned to government as Special Assistant to the SEC ARMY for WWII 60th Anniversary Commemorations completed in 2006.