The Chapel Hill Town Council passed a resolution supporting the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture to investigate the state’s involvement in torture practices after 9/11.
NCCIT is backed by a report by the UNC School of Law, which said the state played a role in the CIA’s torture program through the operation of Aero Contractors, an aviation company located at the Johnston County Airport in Smithfield, North Carolina.
According to the report, Aero operated from at least 2001 and 2006 as part of the CIA’s operation in which U.S. agents captured, imprisoned and interrogated people without legal representation.
The report also said the detainees were subjected to torture such as forced nudity, waterboarding and sleep deprivation during these flights.
As an American private entity, it's illegal for Aero to be involved in the unlawful acts of secret retention and torture, the report said.
According to the petition submitted to the council by NCCIT, torture provides misleading information, is illegal and unethical, causes trauma to detainees and to those who carry out the torture and is a misuse of taxpayer dollars.
Chapel Hill Town Council Member Michael Parker said the council chose to support the resolution because they believe those involved need to be held accountable.
“Torturing people and using U.S. and North Carolina facilities with extraordinary rendition to then torture people is fundamentally wrong," Parker said. “We want to express our solidarity with those who are both against it and who are investigating it to see what happens.”
Parker said the council's support will enable the NCCIT’s work to go forward.