Others speak out
When Barack Obama was a senator he said "America cannot sanction torture," and also said "It's a very straightforward principle, and one that we should abide by. Now, I will do whatever it takes to keep America safe. And there are going to be all sorts of hypothetical's and emergency situations, and I will make that judgment at that time."(6 ). President Obama said "Torture is how you create enemies, not how you defeat them. Torture is how you get bad information, not good intelligence. Torture is how you set back America's standing in the world, not how you strengthen it." (7 ).
Before Obama was sworn in a group of military leaders asked him to renounce torture. Retired Vice Adm. Lee Gunn, former Navy inspector general said "We need to remove the stain, and the stain is on us, as well as on our reputation overseas,". Retired Maj. Gen. Fred Haynes, whose regiment in World War Two raised the American flag on Iwo Jima said "If he'd just put a couple of sentences in his inaugural address, stating the new position, then everything would flow from that,"(8 ).
President Reagan said about ratifying the UN Convention on Torture from 1984 , "The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention . It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today. The core provisions of the Convention establish a regime for international cooperation in the criminal prosecution of torturers relying on so-called 'universal jurisdiction.' Each State Party is required either to prosecute torturers who are found in its territory or to extradite them to other countries for prosecution."(9 ).
A former State Department lawyer Vijay Padmanabhan, said the Bush Admin panicked after 9/11 he admitted to the administration did tortured people and said "Guantanamo was one of the worst overreactions of the Bush administration." (10 ).
A former special intelligence operations officer who led interrogations in Iraq, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post. He wrote under the pseudonym Matthew Alexander and the op-ed was called "I'm Still Tortured by What I Saw in Iraq.". The subject was America's harsh interrogation techniques (11 ).
He conducted more than 300 interrogations and supervised over a thousand more interrogations. He wrote of his experience "My team of interrogators had successfully hunted down one of the most notorious mass murderers of our generation, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq and the mastermind of the campaign of suicide bombings that had helped plunge Iraq into civil war. But instead of celebrating our success, my mind was consumed with the unfinished business of our mission: fixing the deeply flawed, ineffective and un-American way the U.S. military conducts interrogations in Iraq. I'm still alarmed about that today."(12 ).