Raha Wala Responds to John Brennan Speech

Washington, D.C. – In response to remarks delivered by John Brennan, the President’s chief counterterrorism adviser, Human Rights First’s Raha Wala issued the following statement: “As some continue to push a revisionist history of our country’s post-9/11 torture program, John Brennan correctly emphasized that living our values is the only way to effectively counter terror. Torture is not only illegal and immoral, it is counterproductive. No matter how many times former Bush administration officials claim torture works, it doesn’t make it true. This administration followed the advice of retired military leaders and interrogators who know first-hand the dire consequences of the U.S. torture program.” “U.S. policy as described by Brennan with respect to the US targeted killing program, however, fails to meet those values. It is not enough that care is taken to avoid harm to innocent civilians. Brennan’s assertion that any ‘member’ of al Qaeda or ‘associated forces’ is legally targetable is wrong. Under the laws of armed conflict, only members of the enemy’s armed forces, or those directly participating in hostilities or who perform a continuous combat function, may be targeted.” “Brennan painted a picture of core al Qaeda that is a shadow of its former self – unable to plan large-scale attacks against the United States. As we prepare to end combat operations in Afghanistan, it’s time to transition away from a war footing. While threats clearly remain from al Qaeda-affiliated groups, these threats have evolved. It’s simply not sustainable to be in a costly, limitless war with al Qaeda-affiliated groups around the world.”


Published on April 30, 2012


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