Hillary Clinton recently received an award from The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights in New York, and in her speech, she weighed in on the issues of the day. She said she is proud to have worked in the administration that “banned illegal renditions and brutal interrogations,” and she asserted that the country should never be involved in torture, in any part of the world.
Clinton quoted Senator John McCain in his opposition to torture, and said she believes it is important Americans act in accordance with our national values. She said:
Today we can say again in a loud and clear voice that the United States should never condone or practice torture anywhere in the world. That should be absolutely clear as a matter of both policy and law, including our international treaty obligations.
Clinton also said horrific events such as the murder of school children in Pakistan and the siege in Sydney, Australia, “should steel our resolve and underscore that our values are what set us apart from our adversaries.”
The potential 2016 presidential candidate told the overwhelmingly liberal audience that Robert F. Kennedy would agree it is “possible to keep us safe from terrorism and reduce crime and violence without relying on torture abroad or unnecessary force or excessive incarceration at home.”
Regarding the recent protests in the African-American community, Clinton said, “Yes, black lives matter,” using the slogan that is being used by demonstrators around the country who are condemning the failure of grand juries to indict white police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York.
What would Bobby Kennedy say about, she wondered aloud:
… (about) the thousands of Americans marching in our streets demanding justice for all…the mothers who’ve lost their sons.”
What would he say to all those who have lost trust in our government and our other institutions, who shudder at images of excessive force, who read reports about torture done in the name of our country, who see too many representatives in Washington quick to protect a big bank from regulation but slow to take action to help working families facing ever greater pressure?
The nonprofit group gives the Kennedy award to business leaders, activists and entertainers who “reflect Robert Kennedy’s passion for equality, justice, basic human rights, and his belief that we must all strive to ‘make gentle the life of this world.'”