Investigator: Up to 100 detainees have died in US custody
Any torture investigation should focus on the deaths of approximately 100 prisoners who were in U.S. custody, says attorney and human rights investigator John Sifton. Senate torture hearings have examined the effectiveness of enhanced interrogation techniques but Sifton says this is the wrong focus. “Those are the wrong debates to be having right now,” Sifton told Democracy Now‘s Amy Goodman.
“We knew that up to a hundred detainees had died in US custody in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we had published this information previously. But I brought it up again, because I feel like the debate right now about torture is missing the point,” he said.
“These aggressive techniques were not just limited to the high-value detainee program in the CIA. They spread to the military with disastrous results. They led to the deaths of human beings. And when there’s a corpse involved, when there’s a dead body involved, you can’t just have a debate about policy differences and looking forward or looking backward.”
A full transcript of John Sifton’s interview is available here.
This video is from LinkTV’s Democracy Now!, broadcast May 14, 2009.