February 24, 2014
Dear Chair, Ranking Member, and Members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:
We are writing to ask all of you to vote in favor of releasing the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on CIA detention and interrogation to the American public. As family members whose relatives were killed in the 9/11 attacks, we want justice for 9/11 and security from future attacks. But torture and other cruel treatment have no role in justice or security. Torture is illegal. The prohibition against torture is absolute. No circumstances whatsoever justify its use. This is a central principle of America’s laws and international treaty obligations.
Since the tragic events that took our loved ones’ lives, the members of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows [http://www.peacefultomorrows.org] have worked together to promote U.S. policies that place a priority on internationally-recognized principles of human rights in all our responses to 9/11. Torture violates our deepest values as Americans and global citizens. Torture is quite simply immoral and we are deeply saddened that it was used during the interrogation of individuals detained following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Now, the Committee on Intelligence has an historic opportunity to let American citizens learn the truth about what has occurred. We believe this knowledge is crucial to ensuring that our nation never again uses torture. The American public must understand the illegality and immorality of torture. Moreover, we need to understand that torture is ineffective, unnecessary, and counterproductive. Military and intelligence experts have repeatedly stated on the record that U.S. torture has recruited more terrorists and put U.S. troops at risk. Professional interrogators tell us that building rapport and using incentive-based interrogation techniques are more effective than torture in gaining reliable intelligence.
As members of the government sworn to uphold the rule of law and seeking long-lasting security for America, we are sure that you also wish to see all use of torture ended. We are counting on you to set our nation on the right course, to do the right thing and vote to release the report.
The Members of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows