June 25th, 2008 13:54 EST
Military Leaders Call for Executive Order Banning Torture
The following is released by the Campaign to Ban Torture:
*Telephone Press Conference WEDNESDAY at 11 A.M. EDT*
Call for Presidential Ban on Torture
From Evangelical and Other Religious Leaders,
Former Cabinet Members, Retired Generals,
Bipartisan Group Includes Evangelical, Baptist, Catholic, and Other Religious Leaders; Six Former Secretaries of State or Defense, Four Former Members of the Joint Chiefs, Top Officials from Every Administration Since Vietnam;
A call on the President for an executive order banning torture will be issued on Wednesday by a broad bipartisan coalition including former national security and defense officials from the Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and both Bush Administrations and leaders from evangelical, Baptist, Catholic, and other faiths. They say that such a ban would improve national security and recommit America to its values.
Their call coincides with ongoing debate over the treatment of prisoners and comes on the heels of a Supreme Court decision upholding the right of habeas corpus for detainees at GuantÃ¡namo.
The statement calls for the President to adopt an executive order affirming principles including the rule of law, an end to rendition, Congressional and judicial oversight of detention and interrogation, uniform national standards for all prisoner treatment, and an end to any practice the US would not like to see used on Americans, such as water boarding, through adherence to the "golden rule." Several signatories will participate in a telephone press conference call on Wednesday to discuss the statement.
Telephone Press Conference: Religious, Security, and Military Leaders Call for Presidential Ban on Torture
Dr. David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, McAfee School of Theology; President, Evangelicals for Human Rights
Rev. Dr. John H. Thomas, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ
Alberto Mora, Former General Counsel, US Navy
General Paul J. Kern (USA-Ret.), Former Commanding General, US Army Materiel Command; led internal Army investigation of abuses at Abu Ghraib
Moderated by Douglas A. Johnson, Executive Director, Center for Victims of Torture
WHEN: Wednesday, June 25th, 11 AM EDT
WHERE: Call 1-800-895-1085
Conference ID: TORTURE
Evangelical signatories include Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, (National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference), Rev. Dr. Richard Mouw, (Fuller Theological Seminary), Mr. David Neff, (Christianity Today Media Group), Rev. Dr. Joel C. Hunter, (Northland - A Church Distributed), Mr. Gary Haugen (International Justice Mission), Dr. Robert Michael Franklin (Morehouse College), Rev. Richard Cizik (National Association of Evangelicals), Rev. Tony Campolo (Eastern University), Dr. Robert Andringa (Council for Christian Colleges & Universities), Rev. Dr. Paul Alexander (Haggard Graduate School of Theology, Azusa Pacific University), and Dr. Stanley Burgess (Regent University School of Divinity).
Other religious signatories include Bishop Thomas G. Wenski (Committee on International Justice and Peace, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), Rabbi Steve Gutow (Jewish Council of Public Affairs), Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick (Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.), Rev. Dr. William Shaw (National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.), Rabbi Eric Yoffe (Union for Reform Judaism), Dr. Ingrid Mattson (Islamic Society of North America), Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick (Former Archbishop of Washington, DC), Rabbi Gerald Serotta (Rabbis for Human Rights - North America)
National security and defense signatories include Former Secretaries of State George Shultz, Madeleine Albright, and Warren Christopher and Former Secretaries of Defense Harold Brown, William Perry and William Cohen, Former Deputy Secretaries of State Richard Armitage and John C. Whitehead; Former Under Secretaries of State Marc Grossman, Thomas R. Pickering, Frank Wisner, and Joseph Nye; Former Assistant Secretaries of State Lorne Craner and Harold Koh; Former Deputy Secretaries of Defense William H. Taft IV, Rudy deLeon, and John Hamre; Former Under Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn; Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Dr. Ashton B. Carter; Former National Security Advisors Zbigniew Brzezinski, Anthony Lake, and Samuel R. Berger; Harry McPherson, former Counsel to President Johnson; Former Senators Charles S. Robb (Chair of the Iraq Intelligence Commission), J. Bennett Johnston (Judge Advocate General Corps), John Glenn (also Colonel, USMC-Ret.), Sam Nunn, and Gary Hart; Former Governor Thomas Kean (9/11 Commission Chair); Former FBI security and counterterrorism expert Jack Cloonan; and retired CIA operations officer Burton Gerber.
Former military signatories include Retired Generals Joseph P. Hoar (USMC-Ret.), James L. Jones (USMC- Ret.), Paul J. Kern (USA-Ret.), Merrill A. McPeak (USAF- Ret., Former Chief of Staff, US Air Force), Joseph W. Ralston (USAF-Ret., former Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), Volney F. Warner (USA-Ret.); Lt. Generals Robert G. Gard, Jr. (USA-Ret.), Harry E. Soyster (USA-Ret., Army Intelligence); Retired Admirals Archie Clemins (USN-Ret.) and Greg G. Johnson (USN-Ret.); and former US Navy General Counsel Alberto J. Mora.
For a complete list of signatories, visit www.CampaignToBanTorture.org