by Bob Geary
Col. Morris (Moe) Davis was chief U.S. prosecutor for military trials at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba until he quit in protest over orders to allow so-called evidence gained via enhanced interrogation techniques, the methods formerly known as torture.
Davis will be speaking at UNC and Duke during the day on Thursday (tomorrow), at Johnston County Community College Thursday evening, and on Friday, noon, at N.C. State. All are free lectures open to the public.
(Here's a column I wrote about anti-torture efforts in the Triangle a couple of weeks ago, centered on Johnston County Airport and its tenant, Aero Contractors.)
This is from our friends at N.C. Stop Torture Now:
COL. DAVIS’ NORTH CAROLINA SPEAKING SCHEDULE
(all events free and open to the public)
Jan. 31, noon: UNC School of Law, 160 Ridge Road, Chapel Hill, Room 5042. “Confronting Torture: How It Makes America Less Safe.” Sponsor: Prof. Deborah Weissman, UNC School of Law.
Jan. 31, 4 pm: Duke University, East Duke Parlor, 210 East Duke Building. Sponsor: Prof. Robin Kirk, The Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute.
Jan. 31, 7:30 pm: “Torture Puts U.S. Service Members at Risk,” Johnston Community College, Graphic Arts Building, 245 College Road, Smithfield. Sponsor: NC Stop Torture Now.
Feb. 1, noon: NCSU, Caldwell Hall G-107. Sponsors: NCSU Political Science Dept., NCSTN.
More background on Davis from N.C. Stop Torture Now —
Confronting Torture: Former Chief Prosecutor at Guantanamo to Speak at Four North Carolina Schools
RALEIGH, NC — A major figure in the international debate over the U.S. policy of using torture on its “war-on-terror” detainees will speak publicly in four Triangle-area communities on January 31 and February 1.
Col. Morris “Moe” Davis, a 25-year Air Force veteran, served as chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay from 2005 to 2007. He resigned that position because he objected to the use of evidence obtained by torture, and in protest against political interference in the trials.
Col. Davis writes: “More than 4,000 American troops died and more than 30,000 were wounded after we invaded Iraq on the false claim that Saddam Hussein supported al Qaeda, a claim based on a lie a man told his torturers so they would stop torturing him. Condoning torture does not just sanction torturing American troops if they are captured, it can put their lives at risk for no good reason.”
He described his disillusionment at Guantanamo here:
Col. Davis has strong North Carolina ties: he received his B.S. in Criminal Justice from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, and his Juris Doctor (JD) from N.C. Central University School of Law in Durham, NC. He is a member of the North Carolina and Washington, DC, bars, and is now a professor at the Howard University School of Law.
“The United States cannot stand up for justice and the rule of law when it sits idly on its own record of torture,” Col. Davis wrote in March 2011. “It diminishes the weight of its moral authority to influence others around the world when it treats its binding legal obligations as options it can choose to exercise or ignore.”
Col. Davis argues here that it is time to make Guantanamo testimony public and to declassify the new Congressional report on Bush-era interrogation methods:
Col. Davis’ North Carolina tour comes amid increasing controversy over harsh U.S. interrogations. The film “Zero Dark Thirty” is playing nationwide, and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is considering whether to release a massive and allegedly shocking report on detainee treatment. The report is said to conclude that the torture program has damaged the U.S. in multiple ways.