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McCollum: Torture Is Illegal, Immoral and Makes America Less Safe

January 26, 2017
Press Release

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) met Thursday with leaders of the St. Paul-based Center for Victims of Torture to discuss their shared opposition to President Donald Trump’s proposals to reintroduce the use of torture by the United States government.

“Torture is illegal, immoral and makes our country less safe,” Congresswoman McCollum said. “I unequivocally reject the use of torture by our Armed Forces or intelligence agencies because it doesn’t work, it puts American service members and officials at risk, and it violates the core American value of human rights.”

In an interview with ABC News’ David Muir on Wednesday, President Trump spoke glowingly of torture:  “absolutely, I feel it works… As far as I’m concerned we have to fight fire with fire.” In addition, The New York Times reported on Wednesday that a draft Trump executive order would reinstate the use of torture by the United States government.

“Here in Minnesota, because of the work of the Center for Victims of Torture, we have a tradition of welcoming and healing torture victims.  For the President to attempt to legitimize torture is reprehensible and a betrayal of who we are as Americans,” Congresswoman McCollum said. “If President Trump pushes to legalize torture as a weapon against prisoners, I will fight to stop him.”

The St. Paul-based Center for Victims of Torture conducts programming to provide support and care for victims of torture while striving for a world entirely free of torture. In 2016, the Center for Victims of Torture launched a national campaign, A Call to Reject Torture, supported by more than 100 former Cabinet members, diplomats, generals, and faith leaders – including former Secretaries of Defense Chuck Hagel and William Cohen.