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How can human rights and national security needs be protected

in the course of the U.S. led “War Against Terror?

Series 2: U.S Interrogation Policies and Treatment of Prisoners


A panel of retired military leaders gathered at FSU before the Florida primary election to discuss U.S. interrogation policies and the importance of the commander-in-chief setting the highest standards for all U.S. personnel in the treatment of prisoners.  Issues addressed include the use and legality of waterboarding—a topic that continues to be prominent in the presidential campaign—and the importanc e of the Geneva Conventions to the U.S. military.

The event was the second in the series hosted by FSU’s Center for the Advancement of Human Rights that examines how human rights and national security needs can be protected while the U.S. led “War Against Terror” continues. Retired military leaders Lieutenant General Harry E. Soyster, Major General Fred E. Haynes, and Brigadier General David R. Irvine will discuss with students and faculty the importance of using interrogation methods that are effective, lawful, and humane. The generals emphasized the need to ensure that interrogation and prisoner treatment policies enhance national security, protect U.S. troops on active duty, and are consistent with American laws, values, and long-term interests.

The guest lecturers are part of a larger group of retired generals and admirals who are working to ensure that U.S. policy reflects a single standard of prisoner treatment consistent with the Geneva Conventions. Members of the group have travelled to New Hampshire, Iowa, and the Citadel in South Carolina, meeting with presidential candidates of both parties on the campaign trail. The retired generals’ appearance at Florida State University was timed to coincide with the Florida primary election, and underscored the fundamental importance to the U.S. military itself of prisoner treatment issues. The event was co-sponsored and made possible by Human Rights First.

Guest Lecturers
Lieutenant General Harr E. Soyster, USA (Ret.)

Lieutenant General Soyster served as Director, Defense Intelligence Agency during DESERT SHIELD/STORM.  He also served as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Department of the Army, Commanding General, U.S. Army, Commanding General, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command and in the Joint Reconnaissance Center, Joint Chiefs of Staff.  In Vietnam he was an operations officer in a field artillery battalion.  Upon retirement he was VP for International Operations with Military Professional Resources Incorporated and returned to government as a Special Assistant to the SEC ARMY for WWII 60th Anniversary Commemorations completed in 2006.

Major General Fred E. Haynes, USMC (Ret.)
General Haynes is a combat veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He was a captain in the regiment that seized Mt Suribachi, Iwo Jima and raised the American flag there, February 23, 1945. In Korea, he was Executive Officer of the 2nd Bn, 1st Marines. During Vietnam, he commanded the Fifth Marines, and was G-3 of the Third Marine Amphibious Force. During the Kennedy and Johnson eras, he served as Pentagon Director, Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs. As a general officer he commanded the Second and Third Marine Divisions.  He was the Senior Member of the United Nations Military Armistice Commission in Korea, and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Marine Corps Research and Development. He is chairman of the Combat Veterans of Iwo Jima, Chairman Emeritus of the American Turkish Council and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Haynes lives in New York and is currently writing a book, We Walk By Faith, the story of Combat Team Twenty-eight and the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Ret.) 
Brigadier General Irvine enlisted in the 96th Infantry Division, United States Army Reserve, in 1962.  He received a direct commission in 1967 as a strategic intelligence officer.  He maintained a faculty assignment for 18 years with the Sixth U.S. Army Intelligence School, and taught prisoner of war interrogation and military law for several hundred soldiers, Marines, and airmen.  He retired in 2002, and his last assignment was Deputy Commander for the 96th Regional Readiness Command.  General Irvine is an attorney, and practices law in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He served 4 terms as a Republican legislator in the Utah House of Representatives, has served as a congressional chief of staff, and served as a commissioner on the Utah Public Utilities Commission.