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Torture in US Prisons: What 'OITNB' Hasn't Told You

Rev. Ron Stief | Posted 08.26.2014 | Impact
Rev. Ron Stief

We Americans like to think of our nation as the "shining city on a hill," as a protector of human rights, a beacon for the rest of the world. The reality, however, is that widespread torture is happening today in our own country, especially in state and federal prisons and detention facilities.

Time to Close Guantanamo -- Not One More Day

Rev. Ron Stief | Posted 07.22.2014 | Politics
Rev. Ron Stief

The president should act now -- he should not wait for additional authority before doing the right thing, the moral thing. The president should transfer a significant number of detainees out of Guantanamo.

Releasing the Torture Report Is No Mere Academic Exercise

Rev. Ron Stief | Posted 06.04.2014 | Politics
Rev. Ron Stief

Every citizen of the United States has a right to learn from the full version of the Senate's investigation into torture. Certainly, we must see more than the executive summary and conclusions of this report, which the Senate decided Thursday to declassify.

John Rizzo, If Torture Is 'Sadistic,' Why Did You Approve It?

Rev. Ron Stief | Posted 03.10.2014 | Politics
Rev. Ron Stief

In his new book, Company Man, former top CIA lawyer John Rizzo defends the CIA's use of torture and details his role in approving it.

2013: An Important Year Toward the End of Torture

Rev. Richard L. Killmer | Posted 03.02.2014 | Religion
Rev. Richard L. Killmer

2014 could be a very important year in the effort to ensure that U.S.-sponsored torture never happens again. The number of detainees at Guantanamo could decrease significantly, the Senate Intelligence Committee could release its report on torture, and Congress could begin to create legislation on the basis of this report.

Without a Doubt

Rev. Richard L. Killmer | Posted 12.23.2013 | Religion
Rev. Richard L. Killmer

It is time that the truth about U.S. government-sponsored torture sees the light, that our nation openly deals with the legal and moral consequences of our past policies, and that once and for all, we relegate torture to where it belongs -- shameful history never to be repeated.

Religious Liberty: A Right for All People

Rev. Richard L. Killmer | Posted 11.03.2013 | Religion
Rev. Richard L. Killmer

Justifications that target American Muslims carve out loopholes in religious freedom statutes that inevitably hurt members of other faith traditions, too.

Religious Leaders Join the Call for an End to Torture in California Prisons

Rev. Richard L. Killmer | Posted 09.29.2013 | Religion
Rev. Richard L. Killmer

On Monday, July 8, prison inmates across California began a peaceful hunger strike to protest the inhumane conditions of their confinement related to solitary confinement -- a practice where prisoners are confined 23 to 24 hours a day in a small, windowless cell.

Bipartisan Support for Releasing the Torture Report

Rev. Richard L. Killmer | Posted 07.02.2013 | Politics
Rev. Richard L. Killmer

The United States has a history of providing important moral leadership in many areas. But by shrouding our tortured past in secret, we endanger both our country's moral legacy and our national security.

Toward Ensuring an End to U.S.-Sponsored Torture

Rev. Richard L. Killmer | Posted 06.16.2013 | Politics
Rev. Richard L. Killmer

A non-governmental, bipartisan task force recently completed a two-year investigation into the U.S. government's treatment of 9/11 detainees, concluding indisputably that the United States government engaged in illegal torture.

Putting Kids In Solitary Confinement: A Cruel And Unwise Decision

Rev. Richard L. Killmer | Posted 05.25.2013 | Religion
Rev. Richard L. Killmer

I want a future community for my grandchildren which is marked by health and wholeness. By working to end the practice of the solitary confinement of youth, I hope to contribute to that kind of community.

President Obama, Do Not Let Your First Promise Be Your Last Deed

Rev. Richard L. Killmer | Posted 03.13.2013 | Politics
Rev. Richard L. Killmer

As much as we try to remove the years of U.S.-sponsored torture and indefinite detention from the forefront of our political consciousness, Guantanamo Bay remains a vivid American symbol representing a rejection of the rule of law and a threat to our national security.

An Auspicious Day

Rev. Richard L. Killmer | Posted 02.13.2013 | Politics
Rev. Richard L. Killmer

Whether the movie actually implies that torture led to bin Laden, or whether, as the filmmakers suggest, that idea is completely outlandish, it is true that a significant portion of the public continues to believe that torture is effective.

The NYT Got It Right: Torturers Must Be Held Accountable

Rev. Richard L. Killmer | Posted 09.06.2012 | Politics
Rev. Richard L. Killmer

The Attorney General closed his statement last week by arguing that the investigation "was not intended to, and does not resolve, broader questions regarding the propriety of examined conduct." When will the propriety of that conduct be examined? And who will be held responsible for these acts?

23-Hour Fast to End 23-Hour Solitary Confinement

Rev. Richard L. Killmer | Posted 08.19.2012 | Religion
Rev. Richard L. Killmer

Hundreds of people of faith across the nation undertook a 23-hour fast, symbolizing the 23 hours per day that tens of thousands of prisoners, inmates and detainees are warehoused in solitary confinement.

An Apology to Maher Arar -- Moving Beyond the Season of Fear

Rev. Richard L. Killmer | Posted 07.21.2012 | Impact
Rev. Richard L. Killmer

On Monday, May 21, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture joins with Amnesty International USA and the Center for Constitutional Rights in delivering more than 60,000 names of people who have signed statements urging President Obama to issue a formal apology to Arar.

Disguising the Truth about U.S.-Sponsored Torture

Rev. Richard L. Killmer | Posted 07.03.2012 | Politics
Rev. Richard L. Killmer

As a nation founded on religious and moral values, we cannot begin to move past the shameful use of torture until we ensure that U.S. government-sponsored torture never occurs again. Justifications for the use of torture impede us from this important task.

The Danger Of Going Back To The Dark Side

Rev. Richard L. Killmer | Posted 01.28.2012 | Religion
Rev. Richard L. Killmer

As people of faith, we know that torture is always and unequivocally wrong. God created all people with dignity and worth, and we grieve knowing that inflicting harm and cruelty on another human being scars and diminishes us all.

Why Torture Is A Moral Issue

Marcia G. Yerman | Posted 09.05.2011 | Impact
Marcia G. Yerman

June 26 was United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. In the United States, both human rights and religious organizations had...