US Torture Policies Destroying Thousands of Lives Worldwide

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The torture practices by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have wreaked havoc on people across the globe, Witness Against Torture (WAT) organizer Jeremy Varon and Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Director Jennifer Wicks told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Varon explained the US Senate had already compiled and published a nearly 6,000 page report detailing CIA practices in violation of US law.

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“We’ve created thousands of victims around the world whose lives have been destroyed physically or literally, in the name of the concept of National Security, that in many cases is completely fraudulent,” Varon told Sputnik on Friday at a rally in Washington, DC to commemorate the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The Justice Department needed to follow up that report with formal criminal prosecutions for alleged torture but so far has not, he added.

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“Senator [Dianne] Feinstein in her report said that the United States committed crimes. [President Barack] Obama said waterboarding is a crime. [Former President George W.] Bush admitted that he personally ordered waterboarding,” Varon said. “It shouldn’t be a matter of controversy that crimes were committed.”

The US government must publicly acknowledge and take responsibility for the many excesses committed during its War on Terror, Wicks told Sputnik.

“I am demanding that the Department of Justice do something about the torture that our country committed,” Wicks said. “The administration should deal with the atrocities they have committed abroad in Guantanamo.”

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Wicks acknowledged that some individuals involved in torture practices were acting under orders and under established policies.

“But that doesn’t mean it’s right,” she added. “I disagree with the government policy that it’s okay to torture anyone, including people that think they are at war with.”

Witness Against Torture is a group formed in 2005 that works to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center where the US government continues to hold prisoners as enemy combatants.

The Council on American–Islamic Relations is a Muslim advocacy organization. It is headquartered on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and has regional offices throughout the United States.

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