“[Torture is] like a loaded gun laid on the table for anyone to come along and use.”
–Vice President Walter Mondale
On Thursday, November 12, two Twin Cities events will bring front and center the problem of torture as part of United States policies both foreign and domestic.
CIA whistleblower, John Kiriakou, and psychologist Bradley Olson, will headline the two events to be held at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and Hamline University in St Paul. Both events are free and open to the public.
“US Torture: Insider Perspectives on the Pursuit of Ethics and Justice” is a lunchtime convocation from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Hamline University, Anderson Center, Room 111, 774 Snelling Ave N, St Paul, 55104 (parking in Center’s ramp).
Sponsored by Hamline University’s Model United Nation program and the Departments of Global Studies, Political Science and Psychology.
“Torture: Back in the Spotlight and How to Keep It There” is from 3 to 5 p.m. in Willey Hall, University of Minnesota, 225 19th Avenue S, Minneapolis, 55455. (parking info:http://www1.umn.edu/pts/).
The moderator will be Barbara Frey, Director of the University of Minnesota (UMN) Human Rights Program. The events are organized by Tackling Torture At the Top, a committee of Women Against Military Madness, and co-sponsored by the UMN Human Rights Program, World Without Genocide at the William Mitchell School of Law and The Advocates for Human Rights.
“The world has long known that the United States government illegally detained and tortured prisoners after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and lied about it to Congress and the world. But the summary of a report released Tuesday of the Senate investigation of these operations, even after being sanitized by the Central Intelligence Agency itself, is a portrait of depravity that is hard to comprehend and even harder to stomach.”
–New York Times Editorial Board, December 9, 2014
John Kiriakou is the only person to go to prison for the CIA’s documented torture programs…and that was because he blew the whistle on them. A 14-year veteran of the CIA, first as an analyst and then as a counterterrorism operations officer, his encounter, following the September 11 attacks, with the U.S. Government’s lawless program of torture led to his going public.
Initially charged with myriad crimes including three counts of espionage, the government dropped all the spurious charges when Kiriakou, to avoid the risk of 45 years in prison, eventually pled guilty to only one: exposing the identity of a CIA officer. He is an outspoken and eloquent advocate for CIA and now, prison, reforms.
Bradley Olson was active in the successful 10-year long effort to stop the American Psychological Association’s (APA) participation in torture at Guantanamo and in CIA programs. He is a community psychologist focused on a wide variety of human and civil rights issues, advocacy and activism, ethics, and philosophy of science. President of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, co-founder of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, President-Elect of the Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence and a past chair of Divisions for Social Justice (DSJ) a collaboration of 12 APA divisions, Professor Olson teaches at National Louis University in Chicago.
Organizer: Women Against Military Madness, Tackling Torture at the Top Committee