The Village Times






Alicia Shepard




Ombudsman, National Public Radio (NPR)


Date Issued: June 2009
Statement: In response to criticism of NPR's refusal to use the word "torture" when referring to waterboarding, Ms. Shepard wrote:


“No matter how many distinguished groups—the International Red Cross, the U.N. High Commissioners—say waterboarding is torture, there are responsible people who say it is not. Former President Bush, former Vice President Cheney, their staff and their supporters obviously believed that waterboarding terrorism suspects was necessary to protect the nation's security. One can disagree strongly with those beliefs and their actions. But they are due some respect for their views, which are shared by a portion of the American public. So, it is not an open-and-shut case that everyone believes waterboarding to be torture.”


We couldn't agree more. We commend Ms. Shepard for her brave stance and award her this Citation of Merit.