By Adele Welty, with Marianne Stone, of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
On September 11th, my son, a Firefighter intent on saving lives, lost his life at the World Trade Center.
I am a member of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, a group born out of the grief of losing family members in the attacks of 9/11 that promotes nonviolent options in the pursuit of justice rather than revenge.
Consistent with our belief in universal human rights, we oppose torture because of its illegality, moral repugnance, and ineffectiveness as a method of interrogation. Similarly, torture compromises core American values such as liberty and many of the rights granted by the Bill of Rights.
In a post 9/11 world, the torture debate has shifted from whether torture is right to whether it is justifiable. It has become acceptable to say that extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures and that torturing one for the sake of the many is justified. However, in our opinion, taking a firm stand against torture, even in the most difficult of circumstances, is the right side of the debate and the one that most accurately reflects the values on which this country stands.
Americans often take the values that define this nation for granted, relying on others to make the hard decisions about issues like torture and thus exonerating themselves from accountability. September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows hopes that people begin to realize they have choices, and take responsibility for those choices and for the actions the US government takes in their name.
Please join the Say Your Peace video contest to raise the volume on the voices that are speaking out against the countless injustices that have been the result of the US government’s policies and actions since 9/11. Say Your Peace!
We also support Amnesty International’s efforts this June to hold the government accountable for its role in the brutal interrogation and torture of Canadian citizen, Maher Arar.
This post is part of our 2011 Torture Awareness Month series