Marine Colonel Denied Right To Testify In Congress On Torture

Marine Colonel V. Stuart Couch told Congress the Pentagon was denying him the right to appear before a congressional subcommittee to present his ideas on what is wrong with interrogation methods that violate the law. “The Department of Defense has decided that I cannot testify. Please be advised that I am willing to testify before the subcommittee in the event that I am allowed to do so.” Congressman Nadler was furious at the decision because Colonel Couch has already discussed his ideas to the press and in after-dinner speeches, but is being forbidden to tell Congress what he has told the entire world. Colonel Couch is opposed to use of waterboarding and other methods of torture and was upset such interrogation techniques were used in order to obtain information from Mohammedou Ould Siahi, accused of aiding the 9/11 attackers. According to Couch, “in our zeal to get information we had compromised our ability to prosecute him.”

Republican Congressman Tent Franks defended torture saying, “sometimes we have to take measures to protect the innocent we don’t like.” It is unclear by his statement if he ever considers that the person being tortured might be among the innocent who are being protected. However, Malcolm Wrightson Nance, a former Navy instructor who trained people on interrogation methods told a congressional subcommittee, “I believe that we must reject the use of the waterboard for prisoners and captives and cleanse the stain on our nation honor.”