26 September 2006
United States Senate
Committee on the Judiciary
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Arlen Specter, Chairman
The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy, Ranking Democratic Member

Dear Senators:

We write as experienced intelligence and military officers who have
served in the frontlines in waging war against communism and Islamic
extremism. We fully support the need for proactive operations to
identify and disrupt those individuals and organizations who wish to
harm our country or its people. We also recognize that intelligence
operations, unlike law enforcement initiatives, enjoy more flexibility
and less scrutiny, but at the same time must continue to be guided by
applicable US law.

We are very concerned that the proposals now before the Congress,
concerning how to handle detainees suspected of terrorist activities,
run the risk of squandering the greatest resource our country enjoys in
fighting the dictators and extremists who want to destroy us—our
commitment as a nation to the rule of law and the protection of
divinely granted human rights.

Apart from the moral considerations, we believe it is important that
the Congress send a clear message that torture is not an effective or
useful tactic. As noted recently by the head of Army Intelligence, Lt.
Gen. John Kimmons:

No good intelligence is going to come from abusive
practices. I think history tells us that. I think the
empirical evidence of the last five years, hard years, tells
us that.

Our nation was created in response to the abuses visited on our
ancestors by the King of England, who claimed the right to enter their
homes, to levy taxes at whim, and to jail those perceived as a threat
without allowing them to be confronted by their accusers. Now, 230
years later, we find our own President claiming the right to put people
in detention centers without legal recourse and to employ interrogation methods that, by any reasonable legal standard, are categorized as

We ask that the Senate lead the way in upholding the principles set
forth in the Declaration of Independence and affirmed in the Geneva
Conventions regarding the rights of individuals and the obligations of
governing authorities towards those in their power. We believe it is
important to combat the hatred and vitriol espoused by Islamic
extremists, but not at the expense of being viewed as a nation who
justifies or excuses torture and incarceration without recourse to a
judicial procedure.

The US has been in the forefront of the human rights campaign
throughout the 20th century, led by Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow
Wilson. The end of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust
inspired the United States to take the lead in making the case that
human rights were universal, not parochial. Until recently the policy of
our country was that all people, not just citizens of the United States,
were entitled to these protections. It is important that the world
understand that we remain committed to these principles. In fighting
our enemies we must wage this battle in harmony with the traditional
values of our society that were enshrined in the opening clause of the
Declaration of Independence, “we hold these truths to be self-evident”.

. . .
Respectfully yours,

CIA Officers:
Milton Bearden, Directorate of Operations
Ray Close, Directorate of Operations
Vincent Cannistraro, Directorate of Operations
Philip Giraldi, Directorate of Operations
James Marcinkowski, Directorate of Operations
Melissa Mahle, Directorate of Operations
Paul Pillar, Directorate of Intelligence
David MacMichael, Directorate of Intelligence
Melvin Goodman, Directorate of Intelligence
Ray McGovern, Directorate of Intelligence
Mary O. McCarthy, DCI professional staff

U.S. military and Department of Defense:
W. Patrick Lang, (Colonel, U.S. Army retired, Director Defense Humint Services, retired)
A. D. Ackels, (Colonel, U.S. Army, retired)
Karen Kwiatkowski, (Lt. Colonel, USAF, retired)

U.S. Department of State:
Thomas R. Maertens, Deputy Coordinator, Office of Counter Terrorism, U.S. Department of State
Larry C Johnson, Office of Counter Terrorism, U.S. Department of State

Federal Bureau of Investigation:
Christopher Whitcomb, Hostage Rescue Team

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