UPDATE 08/31/2015: Please note that NCCIT.org is currently under construction. Our most recent newsletter can be found below. Continue to check back to our website for updates….
The North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture:
Seeking accountability for our state’s role in the CIA’s Extraordinary Rendition Program and justice for the victims of U.S. sponsored torture.
With guidance from locally and nationally recognized authorities on transitional justice and human rights, a proposed framework has been developed for a citizen-led Commission of Inquiry on North Carolina’s role in extraordinary rendition and torture.
On this website you will find numerous documents explaining the key role that North Carolina facilities played in enabling extraordinary rendition and torture during the “Global War on Terror.” See the Commission’s mission page to learn about our goals and intent, consider endorsing the work of the Commission, and learn more about how you can help to take a stand for justice, accountability, and transparency in our state and beyond.
Download the newsletter here:
NCCIT Newsletter – August 2015
Quarterly Newsletter Fall 2015 Ed. 1
Welcome from our Editor
Since 2005, human rights advocates in North Carolina have been campaigning against the use of our state’s facilities in the CIA’s Rendition/Detention/Interrogation (RDI) program. State officials’ silent support for RDI-related aviation and other infrastructure amounts to a policy of facilitating torture. The goal of activists has been to bring transparency to our state and beyond. These efforts contributed significantly to a national movement for torture transparency, among other things resulting in the partial release of the Senate Torture Report in December of 2014. The redacted 525-page document revealed the appalling torture and abuse which took place through the CIA’s RDI program since 2001. The report confirms that North Carolina airports were essential resources for renditions to indefinite detention and torture for many victims.
On June 26, a vigil took place outside the Federal Building in Raleigh to request that the U.S. Justice Department and its Attorney for the Eastern District of NC, Thomas Walker, read the Senate Torture Report.
In light of all this, NC community leaders have decided to form a non-governmental Commission of Inquiry aimed at creating transparency for our state’s role in the RDI program and clarifying our obligations under the Convention Against Torture to provide acknowledgement and redress to torture survivors. This month, we are happy to officially introduce the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture (NCCIT). NCCIT was formed in April of 2013 as a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization, to bring together professionals and activist from all political, organizational, academic, and religious backgrounds to examine the issue of NC’s tie to the torture program.
This issue will introduce some of the board members and new staff, give a sneak peek on the projects we have started thus far, and explain how you can get involved in the fight for accountability.
NCCIT Quarterly Update
Since April 2015, NCCIT has been able to hire two part-time staff to get the ball rolling. So far, the Media Coordinator and the Outreach Coordinator, alongside our board members, have been very busy planting the seeds for our anticipated 2016 Commission.
Building a Community of Support
NCCIT board members and staff have been traveling the state to engage a variety of different audiences in the issue of torture accountability. NCCIT has met with groups and individuals to discuss the mission and purpose of NCCIT, explain the NC tie to the RDI program, and to conduct “Torture 101” trainings for groups who would like a more in-depth understanding about the Extraordinary Rendition Program and the effects of torture on victims, perpetrators, and society.
This summer, NCCIT met with members of the Libertarian Party to expand our multi-partisan reach. Audiences participated in discussions on US impunity for torture, and many individuals offered their support for the NCCIT through endorsements and general engagement.
In July, NCCIT spoke to the Wake County Libertarian Party about torture, government accountability, and our state’s role in the RDI program.
Getting the Big Picture
This summer, NCCIT worked to engage the public, not only though training and outreach, but also through media. NCCIT began to film an educational mini-series about Torture and NC, as explained by local advocates and professionals who have worked with the issue.
NCCIT members were honored to meet William Jackson and hear about his experience with initiating the Senate Intelligence Committee, and his opinions on government transparency.
In July, NCCIT traveled to Western NC to interview Columnist and National Security Specialist, William E. Jackson. NCCIT spoke with Jackson about the role of the Senate Intelligence Committee and those who oversee it, such as US Sen. Richard Burr. Jackson discussed the implications of the Senate Torture Report and the importance of official accountability.
NCCIT also began an online blog that will feature contributions from individuals of different professional, political, academic, and religious backgrounds. NCCIT believes that by highlighting these different perspectives, it shows the many complicated facets of torture and governmental accountability.
Behind the Scenes
Each edition we will be spotlighting one of our staff or board members. This month, we are highlighting our Media Coordinator, Eric Juth, for his brilliant media work for NCCIT and for his recent recognition for his film Ghosts of Johnston County.
Eric Juth is an artist and filmmaker based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 2014 he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Documentary Film Production and in 2011 a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies, both from Wake Forest University. Juth’s thesis film, Ghosts of Johnston County, is a documentary that explores the links between a rural county airport in North Carolina and the CIA’s “rendition to torture” program, telling the story of the protest movement that gathered in response to this controversy. Ghosts of Johnston County has screened in academic and independent settings, including at the Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina, the Documentary Film Salon at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and in conjunction with the School of Law Human Rights Lab at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
To learn more about his recent award or to see a preview of the film, please visit the website of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee.
How You Can Help
NCCIT has grown in leaps and bounds, thanks to a supportive community of activists, professionals, citizens and donors, but we still need your help. Everyone can support NCCIT!
Take action today by endorsing us at nccit.org/content/endorse/. We value endorsements from professionals and citizens alike, including you!
NCCIT is in the grant application process, but still needs support for operations to keep moving the mission forward. This is a critical time for NCCIT so please consider donating at nccit.org/content/donate/
The best was to stay up-to-date on the actions and progress of NCCIT is to follow us on social media, visit our website and contact us via email:
/NCTorture Email: email@example.com
/NCtorture Website: www.nccit.org