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June 06, 2013

NJ Today: When It Comes to Torture, “Trust Us” No Longer Good Enough

Op-ed by  Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Ret.)

The Convention Against Torture, which President Reagan signed 25 years ago, states “[n]o exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.” Reagan would be disappointed many Americans reject that view.

In a recent poll, only 25 percent of Americans said the use of torture against suspected terrorists was “never justified,” while a combined 47 percent said it was “always” or “sometimes justified.” Public support for torture is surely based on the well-publicized claims that brutal interrogations were necessary to defeat al Qaeda and prevent future terrorist attacks.