National Security Experts Slam President Bush for Endorsing Torture

Philadelphia A group of thirteen retired admirals and generals meeting in Philadelphia today to talk with Congressional candidates from both parties about the importance to our national security of treating detainees in accordance with our laws and values responded with disgust to comments made last night by the former President that he would resort to waterboarding in the future.

“Waterboarding is torture. John McCain has said it’s torture. We have prosecuted foreign and American military personnel for waterboarding. We even prosecuted a sheriff in Texas for waterboarding. Waterboarding is torture and torture is a crime. It cannot be demonstrated that any use of it by U.S. personnel in recent years has saved a single American life. To the contrary, the misguided belief that torture saves lives has cost America dearly. It is shocking that former President George W. Bush said he would use waterboarding ‘again to save lives.’ When he authorized it the first time he sent America down the wrong road, battering our alliances, damaging counterinsurgency efforts, and increasing threats to our soldiers.”

General Joseph Hoar, USMC (Ret.)

General Hoar served as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command. After the first Gulf War, General Hoar led the effort to enforce the naval embargo in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, and to enforce the no-fly zone in the south of Iraq. He oversaw the humanitarian and peacekeeping operations in Kenya and Somalia and also supported operations in Rwanda, and the evacuation of U.S. civilians from Yemen during the 1994 civil war. He was the Deputy for Operations for the Marine Corps during the Gulf War and served as General Norman Schwarzkopf’s Chief of Staff at Central Command. General Hoar currently runs a consulting business in California.

General David M. Maddox, USA (Ret.)

General Maddox served in the U.S. Army from 1960 until 1995. He retired after serving as Commander in Chief, U.S. Army in Europe. While on active duty, General Maddox served extensively overseas with four tours in Germany during which he commanded at every level from platoon through NATO’s Central Army Group, 7th U.S. Army and theater. His last six years of active duty were in Europe transitioning from the Cold War, through Desert Storm, to the total reengineering of our presence and mission in Europe. Since retirement, General Maddox has been an independent consultant to civilian corporations, government agencies, and defense industries regarding concepts, systems requirements, program strategies, operations and systems effectiveness, and analytic techniques and analyses. He has served on the Defense Science Board, is a member of the Army Science Board, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the Corporation of the Draper Laboratory, and The Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs.

Lieutenant General Robert G. Gard Jr., USA (Ret.)

General Gard is a retired Lieutenant General who served in the United States Army; his military assignments included combat service in Korea and Vietnam. He is currently a consultant on international security and president emeritus of the Monterey Institute for International Studies.

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 Military Professional Resources Incorporated and returned to government as Special Assistant to the SEC ARMY for WWII 60th Anniversary Commemorations completed in 2006.

Major General Paul D. Eaton, USA (Ret.)

General Eaton recently retired from the U.S. Army after more than 33 years service. His assignments include Infantry command from the company to brigade levels, command of the Infantry Center at Fort Benning and Chief of Infantry. His most recent operational assignment was Commanding General of the command charged with reestablishing Iraqi Security Forces 2003-2004, where he built the command and established the structure and infrastructure for the Iraqi Armed Forces. Other operational assignments include Somalia, Bosnia and Albania. Other assignments include the Joint Staff, Deputy Commanding General for Transformation and Stryker Unit Development and Assistant Professor and head of the French Department at West Point. He is a 1972 graduate of West Point. He and his wife PJ have three children, all Soldiers.

Rear Admiral Don Guter, JAGC, USN (Ret.)

Admiral Guter served in the U.S. Navy for 32 years, concluding his career as the Navy’s Judge Advocate General from 2000 to 2002. Admiral Guter currently serves as President and Dean of the South Texas College of Law in Houston, TX.

Rear Admiral John D. Hutson, JAGC, USN (Ret.)

Rear Admiral John D. Hutson served in the U. S. Navy from 1973 to 2000. He was the Navy’s Judge Advocate General from 1997 to 2000. Admiral Hutson now serves as President and Dean of the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, New Hampshire. He also joined Human Rights First’s Board of Directors in 2005.

Major General Walter L. Stewart, Jr., USA (Ret.)

General Stewart enlisted in the United States Army in 1966 and served most of almost four decades of military service as a traditional (part-time) Guardsman in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.  Early in his service he led an armed helicopter platoon in support of allied forces in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam where he participated in the 1970 incursion into Cambodia.  In 1994, then Brigadier General Stewart was selected to form the first ever reserve component directorate at a unified command, United States European Command (USEUCOM).  While in this assignment he coordinated reserve support for a wide range of theater activities and was recalled to active duty for Operation Joint Endeavor in the Balkans.  Stewart served at every level of command within Pennsylvania’s 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized), to include division command.  In civilian life, General Stewart was president of a small business and held elected office in Pennsylvania.  He is now fully retired.

Brigadier General James P. Cullen, USA (Ret.)

Mr. Cullen is a retired Brigadier General in the United States Army Reserve Judge Advocate General’s Corps and last served as the Chief Judge (IMA) of the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals. He currently practices law in New York City.

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 Murray G. Sagsveen, USA (Ret.)

Brigadier General Sagsveen entered the U.S. Army in 1968, with initial service in the Republic of Korea. He later joined the North Dakota Army National Guard, where his assignments included Staff Judge Advocate for the State Area Command, Special Assistant to the National Guard Bureau Judge Advocate, and Army National Guard Special Assistant to the Judge Advocate General of the Army (the senior judge advocate position in the Army National Guard). General Sagsveen currently serves as the general counsel of the American Academy of Neurology in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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 June 3, 2010


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