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Speaker Discusses Torture, Rendition, and Drones for Phi Beta Delat and Case

Saturday, January 30, 2010

On Thursday January 21, Phi Beta Delta and CASE sponsored Fran Quigley, who delivered a talk on “International Law and Ethics in America’s ‘War on Terror’: Torture, Renditions, and the Predator Program.”


Quigley is a Former Executive Director of the Indiana Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. He is also a journalist, an author, a former public defender, a civil rights attorney, a visiting professor at the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. In addition, he is the Associate Director of the Indiana-Kenya Partnership/AMPATH, a staff attorney at Indiana Legal Services, a Co-Founder of the Legal Aid Centre of Eldoret (LACE), a human rights law clinic devoted to representing HIV-positive individuals in western Kenya. He has also worked as a journalist contributing to several publications. Currently, his column is published twice a month in The Indianapolis Star and other publications including the South Bend Tribune. His recent book, Walking Together, Walking Far, chronicles the U.S. and Kenyan medical school partnership, AMPATH, which has become one of the world’s most comprehensive and successful responses to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.


During his talk, Quigley argued that the United State’s use of methods such waterboarding, rendition, and the Predator program were detrimental to U.S. interests, both in the moral and the practical sense. He argued that these programs hurt our image abroad when we are trying to win “hearts and minds.” He further argued that the programs were not useful in the practical sense, creating more terrorists rather than less. A partial solution to the problem that he called for was the popular election of the cabinet position of Attorney General, which he argued would make the actions of the executive branch open to investigation and punitive action.


During questions after his prepared remarks several students, including Matt Wiseman and Matt Allen of HPJ questioned the practicality of making the AG an elective position, arguing that we already have checks and balances in place. Quigley answered that those precautions were obviously unable to stop such programs.