Alberto J. Mora is a recently retired General Counsel of the U.S. Navy. He led an effort within the Defense Department to oppose the legal theories of John Yoo and to try to end coercive interrogation tactics at Guantanamo Bay, which he argued are unlawful … (full long text).
He says: … “This responds to your request at reference (a) for a statement that chronicles any involvement by the Department of the Navy Office of the General Counself (OGC) or me personally in the development of the “interrogation rules of engagement” (IROE) for Operation Enduring Freedom. The following narrative adopts a slightly broader focus. It seeks to describe any such knowledge or involvement as OGC or I had on any impact of the interrogation techniquest used of contemplated following September 11, 2001, including participation in legal analysis or discussion of such issues. In the end, it is largely an account of my personal actions or knowledge. Unless otherwise indicated, the use below of the term “OGC” includes my personal knowledge or activity as well as that of other OGC attorneys or personnel. Before discussing the specifics of this involvement, four key factors or events warrant mention by way of background: … (full statement text, July 7, 2004).
Alberto J. Mora – USA
Listen the Audio: Dan Rather Interviews Alberto J. Mora, Former U.S. Navy General Counsel, 43.45 min, Nov. 2, 2006.
… For his efforts, Mora was honored with the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2006, which is administered by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation … (wikipedia/aftermath).
Alberto Mora, the former general counsel for the U.S Navy said torture has not prevented attacks or made the country safer. In fact, the short and long term costs of torture weaken the United States’ defenses by hurting alliances needed for the war on terror, he said. Virtually all countries the United States wants to ally with during war consider torture criminal, Mora said … (full text, this article is not dated).
In December 2002, Alberto J. Mora, then general counsel of the United States Navy, was alerted by Navy investigators to reports that detainees held by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay were being subjected to cruel and unlawful interrogation practices … (full text on John F. Kennedy Library Foundation).
He says also: … “Our nation’s policy decision to use so-called ‘harsh’ interrogation techniques during the war on terror was a mistake of massive proportions” … (full text, July 16, 2008).
Acceptance Speech by Alberto Mora, May 22, 2006.
… Alberto Mora, former General Counsel of the U.S. Navy, said claims that torture has prevented new acts of terror and made the U.S. safer are wrong. “I think the reality is exactly contrary to that,” he said … (full text, June 25, 2008).
He argued: … “before they were used on detainees in US custody that some techniques were unlawful and amounted to torture, said the administration’s interrogation policy, damaged and continues to damage our nation in ways that appear never to have been considered or imagined by its architects and supporters”. “This interrogation policy – which may aptly be labelled a ‘policy of cruelty’ – violated our founding values, our constitutional system and the fabric of our laws, our overarching foreign policy interests and our national security,” Mr Mora said. He adds: “The net effect of this policy of cruelty has been to weaken our defences, not to strengthen them, and has been greatly contrary to our national interest” … (full long text, June 18, 2008).
Statement made by Alberto J. Mora, June 17, 2008, 6 pdf pages.
And he says: … “Even more significant than the CITF’s criticisms, however, was the opposition to the administration’s policies that was waged by Alberto J. Mora, the head of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which, like the CITF, was also involved in nonviolent intelligence gathering at Guantánamo. When Mora was informed about the Pentagon-sanctioned abuse that was taking place, he took his complaints to the highest levels, confronting both Donald Rumsfeld and William Haynes. His principled struggle – which was ultimately unsuccessful – was first reported in detail in another extraordinary New Yorker article by Jane Mayer in February 2006, and Mora also features heavily in the Academy Award-winning documentary Taxi to the Dark Side, and in my book The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison. On Tuesday, Alberto J. Mora appeared before the Senate committee, condemning [.pdf] the policies now apparently supported by John McCain with a clarity and indignation that should serve as a rallying cry to all decent Americans. Mora declared: “[O]ur Nation’s policy decision to use so-called ‘harsh’ interrogation techniques during the War on Terror was a mistake of massive proportions. It damaged and continues to damage our Nation in ways that appear never to have been considered or imagined by its architects and supporters, whose policy focus seems to have been narrowly confined to the four corners of the interrogation room. This interrogation policy – which may aptly be labeled a ‘policy of cruelty’ – violated our founding values, our constitutional system and the fabric of our laws, our overarching foreign policy interests, and our national security. The net effect of this policy of cruelty has been to weaken our defenses, not to strengthen them, and has been greatly contrary to our national interest”. He continued: … (full long text, June 19, 2008).
Numerous Bush Administration officials committed crimes involving the torture of prisoners captured in the Middle East, by Sherwood Ross, Global Research, July 10, 2008;
The Memo, How an internal effort to ban the abuse and torture of detainees was thwarted, by Jane Mayer, February 27, 2006;
How the Pentagon Came to Adopt Criminal Abuse as Official Policy, by Marty Lederman, February 20, 2006;
Guantanamo List Details Approved Interrogation Methods, by Dana Priest and Bradley Graham, June 10, 2004
U.S. Struggled Over How Far to Push Tactics, Documents Show Back-and-Forth on Interrogation Policy, by Dana Priest and Bradley Graham, June 24, 2004;
Documents Helped Sow Abuse, Army Report Finds, Top Officials Did Not Make Interrogation Policies Clear, by R. Jeffrey Smith, August 30, 2004;
Tribunals Didn’t Rely on Torture, by ALBERTO J. MORA, General Counsel, U.S. Navy, Washington, December 13, 2004;
Torture from the Top Down, by Scott Horton, June 19, 2008;
Not Ft. Leavenworth? June 24, 2008.