Lecture: “Confronting Detainee Abuse at Guantanamo” by Alberto J. Mora

Screen shot 2015-01-20 at 10.38.51 PMJoin us Friday, Jan. 23 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the Liu Institute for Global Issues for “Confronting detainee abuse at Guantanamo: A U.S. Navy general counsel’s experience” a talk by Alberto J. Mora.

This event is co-presented by the Centre for Applied Ethics (CAE), the Liu Institute for Global Issues, and the Global Reporting Centre at the UBC Graduate School of Journalism.

Alberto Mora is a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and former general counsel to the United States Navy. He was a leading critic within the Bush-era Pentagon about the use of torture in Guantanamo.

Mora, a Republican who had led a distinguished career in public service and international law prior to his appointment to the Navy, argued that a policy allowing cruelty toward prisoners at Guantanamo left the door open for American military personnel to engage in torture of the kind that was later exposed at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq. Mora did not know of the abuse at Abu Ghraib when he warned Pentagon and other administration officials that the mistreatment of terror suspects and other prisoners would carry grave political consequences for the United States, and would expose U.S. interrogators and policy makers to criminal prosecution. In a 2004 internal memo to the Navy inspector general, Mora outlined his efforts to prevent the Administration from grounding policy in what he believed were flawed legal arguments that would permit the mistreatment of detainees and set off politically and morally disastrous chain reactions. The memo was made public in February 2006. Accounts of widespread prisoner abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and at Guantanamo have continued to escalate. Earlier this year, Alberto Mora retired from government and returned to the private sector.

For his moral courage and his commitment to upholding American values, Mora was honoured with the 2006 Profile in Courage Award.

Mora is now co-leading a two-year research program at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy to assess the policy costs and consequences of the U.S. use of torture in the war on terror.

The Liu Institute is located on the northwest corner of UBC’s campus at 6476 NW Marine Drive.

The event will be held in the Multipurpose Room.