Mr. President: Please Establish a Truth Commission on Torture

Torin Nelson, an experienced interrogator, has a piece up at Huffington Post calling for President Obama to establish a truth commission to establish a comprehensive record of what went wrong and the true costs of abusive interrogation and detention policies under the previous administration. To truly end torture, he argues, we need such a commission; otherwise we will be haunted by past mistakes as we try to move forward.

There are those who continue to promote the use of torture, although experts – people who have gathered actionable intelligence in the interrogation booth like Mr. Nelson – agree that torture is neither necessary nor effective. And in many cases we know that torture has provided bad, tainted information.

As Mr. Nelson writes, “It ought to be possible to conduct a sophisticated cost-benefit analysis that examines the unintended consequences related to our actions. We know, for example, that Abu Ghraib was a boon to Al Qaeda recruiting. How much does the use of these “tools” undermine our efforts?”

With Human Rights First, Mr. Nelson has started a Facebook group to show support for the establishment of such a commission. Please join our Facebook group here.


Published on February 10, 2009


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