SALT LAKE CITY — Rocky Anderson held a noon rally in Pioneer Park Friday, continuing his practice of protesting whenever George W. Bush comes to Utah.
The protest, his fourth for a Bush visit, attracted about 70 supporters and a full complement of Salt Lake media for speeches condemning torture, the Bush administration's role in military interrogation techniques at Abu Ghraib prison and the use of information extracted through use of extreme interrogation techniques such as waterboarding.
"There are never any exceptions to the prohibitions against torture" in the United States' judicial process and military and political history, said Anderson, the former Salt Lake mayor and current executive director of High Road for Humanity.
"U.S. servicemen have been prosecuted for participating in torture. How is it we prosecuted our own service people but the president of the United States can order torture and come here and sign books at Costco bragging about him saying 'damn right' when he was asked should we go forward with torture?" Anderson said.
David R. Irvine, a former Republican Utah legislator and retired Army Reserve brigadier general was also among the speakers at the rally. He said he found it "revealing" that Bush's new book only has three pages that talk about interrogation.
"If torture is really the panacea for cracking tough cases, why do we not incorporate it as a standard practice in our criminal justice system? Torture has not made us safer," Irvine said. "This debate is not about who's a wuss on terror; it's about what makes the most sense for national security and upholding the Constitution."