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Reauthorizing Torture Would Be A Mistake, Harvard Professor Warns

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A Harvard professor says Republican presidential candidates are harming U.S. objectives when they call for torturing terror suspects.

Alberto Mora was a Pentagon lawyer in 2002 when he began hearing rumors about the use of torture at the detention facility in Guantanamo. His inside fight against so-called “harsh interrogation techniques” eventually earned him the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2006.

Now Mora is a professor of human rights policy at the Kennedy School of Government. He warned FSU law students Wednesday that campaign promises to reauthorize torture are hurting the nation’s reputation aboard.

“If Americans were to reflect the role that our basic rights have, and the role that basic human rights play in defining our character, they would insist that these politicians pick the flag out of the ditch and put it in the rightful place.”

Sanctioning torture surrenders the moral high ground, Mora says, and threatens everyone’s freedom from cruelty.

Mora’s appearance was part of the distinguished international law lecture series and celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Journal of Transnational Law & Policy.