March 15 was the official launch date of the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture (NCCIT). This commission has been years in the making, and owes its existence to the dogged persistence of NC Stop Torture Now members and our many supporters throughout the state, as well as to a recent substantial grant. Hearings will be held this coming fall, to investigate our state's extensive involvement in the Bush-era torture program, which was acknowledged by President Obama late in his term.
It's apparent that the likelihood of the CIA and/or the armed forces resuming an official torture program is greatly increased by the stated views of the current occupant of the White House. Yet few people realize that the U.S., unlike many other countries, continues to refuse either to investigate the abuses of the previous decade or to offer any apologies or restitution to the hundreds of innocent men detained and tortured at Guantanamo, in CIA “black sites” or in countries that routinely torture.
Also not widely known is the fact that Aero Contractors, Ltd., a CIA front company operating out of the Johnston County airport, kidnapped and flew at least 34 – probably more – such men to torture sites. The only way to prevent resumption of illegal, immoral, ineffective official torture is through investigation and accountability.
Among other media outlets, UNC's The State of Things covered the NCCIT's launch: see
http://wunc.org/post/new-commission-probe-alleged-nc-connection-extraordinary-rendition-flights and click on the “Listen” button. Please support the NCCIT. More information: http://www.nccit.org/takeaction/
Joan F. Walsh