Their stories are too little told—the stories of U.S. servicemen and women of devout religious faith who, often at great cost, stood up to protest the use of torture in the American open-ended war on terror.
The National Religious Campaign Against Torture wants the government to investigate claims that doctors and medical professionals performed unethical experiments on detainees in CIA custody during the Bush administration.
One day in the early 1990s when the news was filled with the story of the Menendez brothers, my wife, Jane, was driving with our three-year-old daughter, Callie. A reporter said something about the Menendez brothers killing their parents and Callie asked, “Did they say ‘kill their parents’?” to which Jane quickly replied, “Yes, they were bad boys, weren’t they? We don’t kill our parents.”
Religious antitorture groups said the release last month of a partially declassified 2004 CIA report on treatment of terrorism suspects justified their critique of Bush administration policies on detainee treatment.
Prominent religious officials led a march to the White House last month to urge President Obama to form a commission of inquiry into interrogation practices under the Bush administration. The clerics and other senior religious leaders and supporters who joined them for the “public witness” formed a crowd adorned with robes, collars, hijabs and yarmulkes.
After President Obama released memos from Bush administration lawyers that defended waterboarding, Dick Cheney told Fox News that extreme interrogation methods like waterboarding helped the country gain important information and deter terrorist attacks.
Southern Baptist ethicist Richard Land, a leading Christian conservative who helped advance the Bush administration’s agenda on a range of social issues, says that the formerly sanctioned practice of waterboarding of suspected terrorists is torture and “violates everything we stand for.”