I was sent this article by a commenter on October 29, 2007 and re-published it on my own blog.
After reading some of the comments in the past day or so to Armando’s post at Talkleft CNN: Torture As The Punchline, I am re-posting the article here because I think it is an important enough subject, and I think that the experiences of Rev. Fred Morris are things that need to be known, and the responsive actions of Foreign Service officer Richard Brown are valuable educationally.
My own opinion of torture is that it is an utterly indefensible and unquestionable evil, and my own opinion of people who excuse or support or condone torture or attempt to obfuscate and confuse definitions of torture is that they are beyond debating with. Torture is morally, ethically, and legally wrong, and it is a travesty that it is now being “debated” in mainstream media as if to condone it is “just another opinion as valid as any other”.
To those people I ask “What would the child you once were think of the adult you have become?”. Perhaps they should ask themselves that question.
Please read Rev. Fred Morris' article.
“As we are now facing the horrifying spectacle of our president, vice president, Secretaries of State and Defense and Attorney General all making torture a “legitimate” weapon in our arsenal against international terrorism, I ask, Where is Richard Brown when we really need him?”
In 1963, Fred Morris became a missionary of the United Methodist Church to Brazil, where he spent eleven years. As the result of his journalistic activities and his close association with Archbishop Câmara, who was the leading opponent of the Brazilian military, who had overthrown the democratically-elected government in 1964, he was kidnapped by the Brazilian army in 1974 and spent 17 days in their torture chambers in Recife before being expelled by presidential decree as a person “prejudicial to national interests.” On his return to the United States, Time published a two-page first-person account of his experiences entitled Torture, Brazilian Style (Nov. 18, 1974). He subsequently appeared on the Today Show and more than 25 other TV talk shows in the U.S. and Canada. He testified before the U.S. Congress and lobbied for human rights in Latin America in Washington for nearly two years, and published another story in Harper's (October, 1975 'In the presence of mine enemies')
“Where is Richard Brown when we really need him?”
By Rev. Fred Morris
10/26/07 “ICH” — — The story of a young Foreign Service officer who risked his budding career to defend a principle and the honor of the United States
Intro: In the fall of 1974, I was being tortured by members of the Brazilian army in Recife, Brazil, led by officers who bragged about having been trained at the School of the Americas (then in Panama). When I was kidnapped from my home in Recife, (Time, November 18, 1974 and Harpers's, October, 1975) on September 30, 1974, I did not expect to survive. Since the CIA-sponsored overthrow of the democratically elected president of Brazil, João Goulart, in April of 1964, hundreds of Brazilians had been “disappeared” by the military security forces in their ongoing war against “international Communism” and its alleged collaborators within Brazil.