Laura Pitter, counterterrorism advisor in Human Rights Watch’s Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program, discusses the HRW report “Getting Away With Torture;” why the Bush administration should be criminally investigated for its torture program; giving compensation to torture victims who cannot bring suit in court due to state secrets privilege; the illegality of holding prisoners incommunicado in “black sites,” even if they are otherwise treated humanely; why federal courts are more fair and efficient than military commissions; and why Spanish courts may begin torture investigations anew, after John Durham’s long investigation of CIA misconduct concluded that only 2 of over 100 cases should be prosecuted.
MP3 here. (20:54)
Laura Pitter, counterterrorism advisor in Human Rights Watch’s Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program, monitors, analyzes and writes on US counterterrorism policies. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Laura was a journalist, human rights advocate, and attorney who practiced in both the public and private sectors.
She was a reporter during the war in Bosnia where she wrote for Time Magazine and Reuters News Agency among other media outlets. Following the war she worked for the United Nations in both Bosnia and post Sept. 11-Afghanistan as a protection and political affairs officer. After Afghanistan, Laura practiced law for eight years, first with the Legal Aid Society and later with a boutique law firm, both in New York. Laura holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a master’s in international affairs from Columbia University, and a law degree from the University of San Francisco.