A Discussion Of U.S. Torture With Brigadier General David R. Irvine

Dec 9, 2014

In June, KUOW Speakers Forum featured an event titled, “Exposing the Truth of U.S. Torture,” during which Brigadier General David R. Irvine lambasted U.S. torture practices abroad.

“If these kinds of practices were used by another nation on American serviceman, who were captives, who were prisoners of war, we as a nation would not tolerate it,” he said.

Irvine, a retired U.S. Army Reserve intelligence officer, and his colleagues produced a 600-page report on torture that was released on Tuesday after months of hearings and debate between the White House, lawmakers and the intelligence community. The document has been called “a sweeping indictment of the CIA's operation and oversight of a program carried out by agency officials and contractors in secret prisons around the world in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.”

It asserts that the CIA “provided inaccurate information to the White House, Congress, the Justice Department, the CIA inspector general, the media and the American public.”

Since 2005, Irvine has worked with a group of over 50 retired generals and admirals to change the way the U.S. treats prisoners and detainees. In June, Irvine detailed their efforts “to get the U.S. out of the torture business.” He also called on the U.S. to uphold human rights guaranteed by the Geneva Convention.

“If we fail to do so,” Irvine, a retired U.S. Army Reserve intelligence officer, said, “we risk weakening our ability to claim our place as an exceptional and exemplary practitioner of the rule of law.”

Irvine taught prisoner interrogation and military law for 18 years. He is a member of the bipartisan Task Force on Detainee Treatment. He was joined on stage by University of Washington professors Rob Crawford and Beth Rivin, Congressman Jim McDermott, Reverend Rich Lang and Scott Roehm of the Constitution Project.

The event took place at Seattle’s University Temple United Methodist Church on June 3.