Interrogation and Torture in U.S. Policy: Forum with Retired Admirals and Generals

Columbia, SC – Retired military leaders will discuss U.S. interrogation policy and the importance of the commander-in-chief setting the highest standards for all U.S. personnel in the treatment of prisoners. Questions about the use and legality of waterboarding, which surfaced during confirmation hearings of the Attorney General, and again with the destruction of CIA videotapes, continue to be prominent in the presidential campaign and in the media. The event, co-hosted by Human Rights First and the Walker Institute for International Area Studies, will be held on Monday, January 14 at 3:00 p.m.

Retired military leaders Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn, Major General Fred E. Haynes, Brigadier General James Cullen, Brigadier General David R. Irvine, Brigadier General Richard O’Meara, and Brigadier General Stephen N. Xenakis will discuss the importance of using interrogation methods that are effective, lawful and humane. They will underscore the need to ensure that interrogation and prisoner treatment policies enhance our national security, protect our troops and are consistent with American laws, values and interests.

The forum participants are part 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. The group has traveled to New Hampshire and Iowa, where they met individually with eight presidential candidates from both parties. These retired military leaders are traveling 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 and to our national security.

Where: University of South Carolina, Walker Institute for International Area Studies, Lumpkin Auditorium, 8th Floor, BA Building


When: January 14, 2008; 3:00 p.m.


Who: Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn, Major General Fred E. Haynes, Brigadier General James Cullen, Brigadier General David R. Irvine, Brigadier General Richard O’Meara, and Brigadier General Stephen N. Xenakis


Moderated by Charles Bierbauer


This event is free and open to the public.


Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn, USN (Ret.)

Vice Admiral Gunn served as the Inspector General of the Department of the Navy until his retirement in August 2000. Admiral Gunn commanded the USS BARBEY and the Destroyer Squadron “Thirty-one,” a component of the U.S. Navy’s Anti-Submarine Warfare Destroyer Squadrons. Gunn is from Bakersfield, California and is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his commission from the Naval ROTC program at UCLA in June 1965.


Major General Fred E. Haynes, USMC (Ret.)

General Haynes is a combat veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He was a captain in the regiment that seized Mt Suribachi, Iwo Jima and raised the American flag there, February 23, 1945. In Korea, he was Executive Officer of the 2nd Bn, 1st Marines. During Vietnam, he commanded the Fifth Marines, and was G-3 of the Third Marine Amphibious Force. During the Kennedy and Johnson eras, he served as Pentagon Director, Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs. As a general officer he commanded the Second and Third Marine Divisions. He was the Senior Member of the United Nations Military Armistice Commission in Korea, and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Marine Corps Research and Development. He is chairman of the Combat Veterans of Iwo Jima, Chairman Emeritus of the American Turkish Council and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Haynes lives in New York and is currently writing a book, We Walk By Faith, the story of Combat Team Twenty-eight and the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Brigadier General James Cullen, USA (Ret.)

General Cullen is a retired Brigadier General of the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps with over 26 years of combined active duty and reserve service. He last served as Chief Judge (IMA) of the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals. Prior to serving as Chief Judge, he was assigned as Staff Judge Advocate (senior lawyer) for the 77th ARCOM, which was the senior headquarters for soldiers in the New York/ New Jersey region of the country including the 800th MP Brigade. Prior to that, he was Commander of the 4th Military Law Center. Following training at the Judge Advocate General’s School at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, he served on active duty for several years. General Cullen has received a number of awards and medals during the course of his military career, including the Distinguished Service Medal. He is a shareholder at Anderson Kill & Olick, P.C., in New York City where he heads the construction and real estate development practice.

Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Ret.)

Brigadier General Irvine enlisted in the 96th Infantry Division, United States Army Reserve, in 1962. He received a direct commission in 1967 as a strategic intelligence officer. He maintained a faculty assignment for 18 years with the Sixth U.S. Army Intelligence School, and taught prisoner of war interrogation and military law for several hundred soldiers, Marines, and airmen. He retired in 2002, and his last assignment was Deputy Commander for the 96th Regional Readiness Command. General Irvine is an attorney, and practices law in Salt Lake City, Utah. He served 4 terms as a Republican legislator in the Utah House of Representatives, has served as a congressional chief of staff, and served as a commissioner on the Utah Public Utilities Commission.

Brigadier General Richard O’Meara, USA (Ret.)

Richard M. O’Meara is a retired military officer who served in the United States Army as an enlisted soldier, as an officer, as an Infantryman and Judge Advocate on both active duty and in the reserves. He served in combat in Vietnam and has traveled with the Department of Defense to such diverse locations as Iraq, Rwanda, Panama, Cambodia, Chad, Sierra Leone and the Ukraine. He teaches Human Rights and related national security issues at the Center for Global Change and Governance, Rutgers University and in the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program, Richard Stockton College.

Brigadier General Stephen N. Xenakis, USA (Ret.)

Dr. Xenakis served 28 years in the United States Army as a medical corps officer. He held a wide of variety of assignments as a clinical psychiatrist, staff officer, and senior commander including Commanding General of the Southeast Army Regional Medical Command. Dr. Xenakis has been written widely on medical ethics, military medicine, and the treatment of detainees. He has published editorials in the Washington Post and a number of other national magazines and journals, including book chapters and legal reviews. Dr. Xenakis has an active clinical and consulting practice, and currently is working on the clinical applications of quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) to brain injury and other neurobehavioral conditions.


Published on January 11, 2008


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