Commentary, News

Human rights advocates call on Cooper, Stein to support inquiry into NC’s involvement in CIA torture

Human rights advocates are calling on Governor Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein to support the work of a non-governmental commission that’s been formed to examine, among other things, North Carolina’s role in the illegal and immoral torture program administered by the U.S. government in early years of the last decade. As is explained on the website of the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture:

“In the years following 9/11, North Carolina was used as a staging ground to launch flights that picked up suspected terrorists abroad and transported them to CIA ‘black sites’ and third-party countries where they were illegally detained and tortured. Declassified documents and news reports have confirmed that the CIA front company Aero Contractors, which is headquartered in the state, used North Carolina’s aviation infrastructure and public airports to launch these ‘torture taxi’ flights in support of the United States’ Rendition, Detention and Interrogation (RDI) program.

The North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture (NCCIT) is a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating and establishing public accountability for the role that North Carolina’s government and state resources played in helping to facilitate the U.S. torture program. The NCCIT has established a blue-ribbon panel of policy experts, academics, and community leaders to do the job their government refuses to do: investigate North Carolina’s involvement in the U.S. torture program, prevent it from happening again, and make North Carolina a leader against torture.”

A draft letter to Cooper and Stein prepared by advocates at NC Stop Torture Now calls on the two leaders to cooperate with and aid the investigation. In support of the request, the letter notes that:

  • The U.S. government has done nothing to hold officials responsible for the CIA’s failures or for the terrible damage caused by U.S. torture, both at home and abroad.
  • Torture has boosted terrorism and damaged U.S. global standing. 
  • President Trump has repeatedly endorsed torture as a foreign policy “strategy.”
  • New evidence has recently emerged that the U.S. may be re-engaging with torture in Yemen.
  • A North Carolina-based contractor has played a key role in torture, has used the state’s public public airports in its efforts and could again.

Let’s hope the effort bears fruit. To learn more about the efforts of Stop Torture Now NC, visit their website by clicking here.

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