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Nearly 200 Retired Military Leaders to Trump: Do Not Bring Back Torture

Image: Nearly 200 Retired Military Leaders to Trump: Do Not Bring Back Torture

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By    |   Tuesday, 10 Jan 2017 11:01 AM

In a joint letter to Donald Trump, 176 retired military officers urged the president-elect to not bring back torture, calling it "unnecessary" and "counterproductive."

"Most importantly, torture violates our core values as a nation," wrote the military leaders, who claim 6,000 years of combined experience.

"Our greatest strength is our commitment to the rule of law and to the principles embedded in our Constitution," the letter stated. "Our servicemen and women need to know that our leaders do not condone torture or detainee abuse of any kind."

At the top of the list of signees: Retired Gen. Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and commander of U.S. Cyber Command.

Alexander was one of 27 retired generals and James Stavridis – former NATO Supreme Allied Commander – one of six retired admirals who signed the letter.

"We are concerned about statements made during the campaign about the use of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody," the letter said. "The use of waterboarding or any so-called 'enhanced interrogation techniques' is unlawful under domestic and international law. Opposition to torture has been strong and bi-partisan since the founding of our republic through the administration of President Ronald Reagan to this very day.

"Torture is also counterproductive because it undermines our national security," the leaders wrote. "It increases the risks to our troops, hinders cooperation with allies, alienates populations whose support the United States needs in the struggle against terrorism, and provides a propaganda tool for extremists who wish to do us harm."

Other notable authors of the letter:

  • Gen. Stanley McChrystal, former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan (2009-10).
  • Adm. Bobby Ray Inman, former director of the NSA (1977-81).
  • Gen. Howell Estes III, former commander of North American Aerospace Command (1996-98).
  • Gen. John Allen, former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan (2011-13).

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In a joint letter to Donald Trump, 176 retired military officers urged the president-elect to not bring back torture, calling it "unnecessary" and "counterproductive."
military, torture, transition, retired
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2017-01-10
Tuesday, 10 Jan 2017 11:01 AM
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