Friday, November 24, 2006

US torture: justice moves slowly but surely

Senator Patrick LeahyThe Democrats are moving as quietly promised to bring the war criminals of the Bush administration to justice. Senator Patrick Leahy, shortly to be chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, writes to Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales:

As you know, for more than two years, I have repeatedly sought answers from the Department of Justice, the FBI, the CIA, and the Department of Defense regarding reported and, in some instances, documented cases of the abuse of detainees in U.S. custody. The photographs and reports of prisoner abuse in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere that have emerged during the past two years depict an interrogation and detention system operating contrary to U.S. law and the Geneva Conventions.

Prisoner abuse is one aspect of a broader problem, which includes the use of so-called “extraordinary renditions” to send people to other countries where they will be subject to torture. We diminish our own values as a Nation – and lose credibility as an advocate of human rights around the world – by engaging in, or outsourcing, torture.

The American people deserve to have detailed and accurate information about the role of the Bush Administration in developing the interrogation policies and practices that have engendered such deep criticism and concern at home and around the world. I ask that you promptly respond to the following questions and document requests…

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