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Rehabilitation for Torture at Guantanamo is a Moral and Legal Imperative

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As the Biden administration takes action to hold Russia accountable for war crimes in Ukraine, it is essential for the United States to meet its own obligations under international law—particularly, its obligation under the Convention against Torture to provide rehabilitation services to the men now detained at Guantánamo who are suffering the consequences of torture. CERL’s Executive Board Chair Morton Halperin and Executive Board member Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Stephen N. Xenakis, M.D. offered their thoughts in an opinion for Just Security.

Dr. Halperin is chair of the Executive Board of the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law (CERL). He served as Senior Advisor to the Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Policy Center. Dr. Halperin worked for many years for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). He was Director of the Center for National Security Studies from 1975 to 1992; from 1984 to 1992 he was also the Director of the Washington Office of the ACLU. Dr. Halperin has testified more than 50 times before congressional committees on civil liberties issues. He served in the Clinton, Nixon and Johnson administrations, in the Defense and State Departments and on the staff of the National Security Council, most recently as Director of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State (1998-2001). He is the author of numerous books and articles on national security and civil liberties, including The Lawless State (1976) and Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy (2006). 

Brig. Gen. Xenakis is a member of the CERL Executive Board. He is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist with many years of clinical, academic, and management experience and an advisor for Physicians for Human Rights and the Center for Victims of Torture. He is also an Adjust Professor at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Read his bio here.

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Rehabilitation for Torture at Guantanamo is a Moral and Legal Imperative