During the Bush administration, many hundreds of people were tortured and abused by the CIA and Department of Defense, primarily in Afghanistan, Guantánamo, and Iraq, but also in other countries after unlawful rendition. Our government's embrace of torture shattered lives, shredded our nation's reputation in the world, and compromised our national security. Yet, to date, there has been little accountability for these wrongs.
In January 2009, shortly after entering office, President Obama took important steps to dismantle the torture program. But in the following years, his administration undermined that early promise by thwarting accountability for torture.
Accountability for torture is a moral, legal, and national security imperative.
With the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee's summary of its landmark investigation into the CIA's use of torture, the United States has a critical opportunity to change course. By taking steps in the five key areas described below, the Obama administration can begin to redress the abuses perpetrated in our names and help ensure that the United States never tortures again.