“‘Torture Memos’ Turn 10: Demand Accountability” @ Center for Constitutional Rights

Posted on August 2, 2012

From Center for Constitutional Rights:

Dear CCR supporter,

Today marks ten years since Bush administration lawyers drafted the infamous “torture memos” that both enabled the torture of individuals held in U.S. detention and provided legal cover for U.S. officials who participated in torture.

It has been well-documented that in the years following the September 11, 2001 attacks, high-level U.S. officials committed, ordered, directed, authorized, condoned, planned and otherwise aided and abetted, or failed to prevent or punish, serious violations of international law, including torture.The torture memos played a critical role in the U.S. torture program. To date, no senior government official has been held accountable for torture, and there is no pending criminal investigation into torture committed by U.S. officials. In fact the Obama administration has made clear that neither the authors of the Bush Administration’s “torture memos,” nor those who relied on these memos, will be subject to investigation. Nor has there been accountability for the destruction of at least 92 interrogation videotapes containing evidence of torture, including the torture of detained men who are still in Guantánamo.

The Bush administration tortured, but it is the Obama administration that is creating a legacy of impunity for this torture. President Obama is compounding this grim legacy by continuing indefinite detention without charge or trial at Guantánamo—a practice that a recent Physicians for Human Rights report makes clear is itself a form of torture.

Contact Attorney General Eric Holder and demand that the U.S. Department of Justice hold U.S. officials accountable for torture and other serious violations of international law at Guantánamo and other U.S. detention sites. The Attorney General should appoint an independent prosecutor with a full mandate to investigate and prosecute those responsible for torture and other war crimes, as far up the chain of command as the facts may lead. 

Support CCR’s work to hold U.S. officials accountable for torture and war crimes by learning more about it and sharing with others. Learn more about CCR’s Bush Torture Indictment by visiting our case page. Also learn about our efforts in Germany, France and Spain to hold U.S. officials, including the lawyers who drafted the torture memos, accountable for torture around the world by visiting CCR’s page on accountability. The U.S. government has so far failed to comply with its obligations to investigate and prosecute torture, but together we can ensure torturers are held accountable.