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Posted January 26, 2009

President Obama and Robert Gard

MIIS President Emeritus Robert Gard (third from right) joins applause at Oval Office signing ceremony.

When President Obama signed executive orders in the Oval Office last Thursday shutting down the prison at Guantanamo Bay and prohibiting the use of torture by U.S. intelligence personnel, MIIS was there. The New York Times photo of the signing ceremony includes MIIS President Emeritus Robert Gard at far right.

Retired United States Army Lieutenant General Gard was invited to the ceremony in recognition of his role as a member of a group of 16 retired admirals and generals who, in cooperation with the national organization Human Rights First, have been advocating an end to the use of torture by U.S. interrogators. The day of the ceremony, the group released a statement declaring that: “President Obama's actions today will restore the moral authority and strengthen the national security of the United States. It is vital to the safety of our men and women in uniform that the United States never sanction the use of interrogation methods that we would find unacceptable if inflicted by an enemy against captured Americans.”

“We told the President that we will continue to stand by him and help fight the critics of this decision,” said Gard, adding “The values projected by Human Rights First are quite consistent with the whole philosophy of MIIS.”

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir