Troops to Call for Independent Commission on Torture

Media Advisory

Troops to Call for Independent Commission on Torture;
Press Conference on Open Letter signed by 3,700 veterans and family members

CONTACT: Charles Sheehan-Miles, 202-558-4553

Nearly four years after the beginning of the War on Terror, the U.S. continues to struggle with the issue of torture. With the exception of the demotion of a Brigadier General, not a single investigation has had the scope to look beyond low ranking enlisted soldiers and junior officers.

Senate Republicans, led by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, have proposed legislation which would restrict the United States from the abuse of prisoners.  This legislation, known as the “McCain Amendment,” currently faces a veto threat from the White House.

This week a group of nearly 4,000 military veterans and family members published an open letter calling for the creation of an Independent Commission to investigate the torture scandal. 



CHARLES SHEEHAN-MILES; 1991 Gulf War veteran and executive director, Veterans for Common Sense.

FRANK GREGORY FORD is an Iraq War veteran who will describe incidents of prisoner abuse he witnessed and attempted to report to the military chain of command.

DAVID DEBATTO is an Iraq War veteran and intelligence specialist who will discuss interrogation practices in Iraq.
GARRETT REPPENHAGEN is a recently returned Iraq War veteran and Army sniper who will discuss the impact of the Abu Ghraib on the Iraqi insurgency in the spring of 2004

COLONEL RICHARD KLASS is a Vietnam veteran and Silver Star winner who will discuss the role and responsibilities of combat commanders.
JEAN AYLWARD is a former Air Force Judge Advocate General officer and former attorney in the Office of Intelligence Policy Review at the U.S. Department of Justice, and currently serves as Senior Associate for Government Affairs at HUMAN RIGHTS FIRST.

ERIK K. GUSTAFSON is a 1991 Gulf War veteran and founded of the EDUCATION FOR PEACE IN IRAQ CENTER, an organization promoting human rights in Iraq since 1988.

WHAT: Press Conference to release Open Letter for an Independent Commission on Torture

WHEN: November 11, 2005; 10 AM (Veterans Day)

WHERE: Edward R. Murrow Room at the National Press Club; 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor – Washington, DC 20045

VETERANS FOR COMMON SENSE is an organization of 14,000 veterans from World War II to the War on Terror working to preserve American values and defend U.S. national security.

View the Congressional Quarterly advertisement (Acrobat PDF)

Read the Open Letter (Acrobat PDF)

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