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article imageNobel Peace Prize laureates push Obama to release torture report

By Holly L. Walters     Oct 29, 2014 in Politics
A group of Nobel Peace Prize winners are pushing for President Barack Obama to release a 500-page document detailing the Central Intelligence Agency’s torture of terrorist suspects after the September 11, 2001 attacks
The President is even considered one of the laureate’s own, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for the work he has performed in nuclear nonproliferation and his international diplomatic efforts.
The New York Times reported that twelve Nobel laureates petitioned the President for, “full disclosure to the American people of the extent and use of torture employed by the U.S.” They additionally petitioned for the release of the Senate report regarding the agency’s torture of suspects that happened after the September 11 attacks.
The laureates indicated that an intended result at the release of the report would be to bring to light the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques, a practice that many condemn as brutal torture. The open letter and petition gives an opportunity for the United States to realize that the interrogation methods used by the CIA went too far.
The letter was jointly organized by two of the Nobel Prize Peace winners; South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu from South Africa and former President and international peacemaker José Ramos-Horta of East Timor. The letter and petition sent to President Obama also urged the Administration to release a clear plan to close international sites, such as Guantanamo Bay where the United States has participated in torture.
Their joint letter, penned and released Sunday night, was published as part of an online campaign on, a project that was implemented by Ramos-Horta. Some of the contents of the letter that was published on the website admonished U.S. leaders for eroding freedoms and rights that its people fought so hard to put in place.
"In recent decades, by accepting the flagrant use of torture and other violations of international law in the name of combating terrorism, American leaders have eroded the very freedoms and rights that generations of their young gave their lives to defend,” they wrote.
The Nobel Prize winners indicated in the report that the United States sets an example that is observed and followed by many. They also indicated that America was at a turning point with the release of the report and that the actions taken by the President could send one of two messages. On one hand, the U.S. could stop the harsh practice – on the other hand; they could ignore the letter and continue on their current path.
Continuing on the current path, they cautioned, sends a strong message to brutal regimes that could use it to justify the use of torture against suspects, including American soldiers on foreign soil. The laureates wrote, “In losing their way, they have made us all vulnerable."
The Nobel Prize winners indicated that they would wait to see if the U.S. will continue to ignore the effect that their actions effects of its actions on the world, and even on its people, or if they will take the steps that are needed to raise themselves to the standards that the country was founded. They wondered if America would once again observe the very conventions that brought it into existence.
There remain obstacles to the negotiations as President Obama, members of Congress and the CIA discuss what part of the report should be redacted – there is insistence by the agency that displaying the sensitive information about the officers that were involved with the multiple events could put them at risk. Until those particulars are agreed upon, the release of the report is stalled.
According to the Huffington Post, a list of the other Nobel Prize winners that signed the letter include Bishop Carlos X., Belo Leymah Gbowee, Mohammad ElBaradei, John Hume, Óscar Arias Sanchez , Muhammad Yunus, F. W. de Klerk, Jody Williams, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Betty Williams.
More about Nobel peace prize winner, Nobel laureate, President barack obama, Cia
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