The North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture (NCCIT) is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization, whose mission is to address the issue of torture and lack of government transparency surrounding North Carolina’s role in the United States’ Rendition/Detention/Interrogation (RDI) program by crafting a model of accountability and awareness that can inspire efforts in other states and beyond.
Practically, the NCCIT has two main project areas:
- A Commission of Inquiry on Torture: a non-partisan, high-profile inquiry into North Carolina’s involvement with extraordinary rendition
- The NC Torture Accountability Grassroots Campaign: a public awareness and educational campaign about North Carolina’s involvement in the Extraordinary Rendition Program
The Commission of Inquiry on Torture
The NCCIT has already recognized its state’s involvement in the indefinite detention, torture and extraordinary rendition of individuals, and now seeks to understand the extent and shape of the problem in North Carolina in order to best advocate for a policy remedy. In order to do so, the NCCIT will rely upon the Senate Intelligence Committee of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program; the extensive public record compiled by NGOs, journalists, and academics; and direct evidence from experts, survivors, and families of victims.
Ultimately, the NCCIT will establish a carefully documented, public record of North Carolina’s involvement in torture and disappearance, and will make recommendations to the public and to elected officials on how to address the state’s responsibility and prevent future involvement in such human rights violations.
NC Torture Accountability Grassroots Campaign
The NCCIT will simultaneously be igniting a grassroots campaign, targeted at raising awareness about the Extraordinary Rendition Program and NC’s involvement in state-sponsored torture. In order to educate the general public, the NCCIT will create awareness videos, develop a social media campaign, publish written educational materials, and invite experts to contribute to the ongoing blog. NCCIT will also raise awareness of the mission, purpose, and findings of the NCCIT.
After the December 2014 release of a portion of the Torture Report, North Carolinians and others across the country have called for release of the entire 6,700-page document. The NCCIT will lend weight to this call. We will advocate for a new policy that affirms our obligation to comply with norms of the Convention Against Torture, fulfills our responsibility to acknowledge and provide redress to torture survivors, and prevents future engagement of state resources in torture or other detainee abuses.
- Enhance transparency and visibility for torture accountability, and in so doing help prevent future torture
- Publish a report that identifies the extent of the RDI program in NC and makes recommendations
- Educate the public, particularly in relation to Sen. Burr’s role as Intelligence Chair
- Challenge government secrecy with citizen-led transparency
- Involve new voices in the torture accountability movement (e.g., veterans, youth)
- Transcend partisanship by bringing together multiple political parties around shared moral values of decency
- Foster global peace by sending the message that Americans are working to undo the damage done by RDI and to demonstrate commitment to international norms.
- Conduct two or three high-profile public hearings across the state during a two-year inquiry
- Gather and create a complete public record of North Carolina’s involvement in the RDI program
- Analyze how NC resources continued facilitating torture after state officials were informed of the abuses
- Consult with national advocacy groups focusing attention on extraordinary rendition and torture
- Recommend how NC can discharge its responsibilities of transparency, acknowledgement, and redress.