ADC Troubled by Destruction of CIA Tapes, Allegations of Torture
Washington, DC | December 12, 2007 | www.adc.org | The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is troubled by CIA Director Michael V. Hayden‘s recent revelations that the CIA destroyed video of terror suspects being harshly interrogated. The tapes are alleged to include the CIA using such methods of torture as “waterboarding” prisoners in an attempt to gain information. Waterboarding is the act of ‘simulated’ drowning of detainees and is illegal under international law.
ADC calls upon Congress to appoint a special investigative counsel to determine whether the CIA purposely destroyed the tapes while they were being sought by the 9-11 Commission and federal judges. The tapes were sought during investigations into allegations of torture at the hands of US intelligence agencies. Last week, Hayden stated the tapes were destroyed in an effort to protect the identities of the CIA officers involved.
ADC believes that the torture of detainees in US custody at any level is contrary to established international human rights law, including treaties and conventions to which the US is party. More importantly, the act of torturing detainees is an affront to the values of humane treatment of prisoners that all American citizens hold. The most recent revelations add to the growing concern about the Bush Administration‘s regard for rule of law and respect of internationally-recognized human rights norms.
ADC National Executive Director Kareem Shora said, “By not disclosing all the facts, the CIA is jeopardizing our already damaged traditional standing in the world as champions of human rights and proponents of all international conventions against inhumane and degrading treatment; including torture.”
NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non sectarian and non partisan, is the largest Arab-American civil rights organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980, by former Senator James Abourezk to protect the civil rights of people of Arab descent in the United States and to promote the cultural heritage of the Arabs. ADC has 38 chapters nationwide with chapters in every major city in the country, and members in all 50 states.
The ADC Research Institute (ADC-RI), which was founded in 1981, is a Section 501(c)(3) educational organization that sponsors a wide range of programs on behalf of Arab Americans and of importance to all Americans. ADC-RI programs include: research studies, seminars, conferences and publications that document and analyze the discrimination faced by Arab Americans in the workplace, schools, media, and governmental agencies and institutions. ADC-RI also celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the Arabs.