Bush Administration Removed Detainees From Guantánamo To Avoid The Law

August 6, 2010

ACLU Calls For Broad Investigation Into Bush Torture Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – The Bush administration moved four detainees from Guantánamo to secret CIA prisons overseas in 2003 to keep them from having access to lawyers, according to the Associated Press today. The transfer came just before the Supreme Court ruled that prisoners at Guantánamo could challenge their detention in U.S. courts. The American Civil Liberties Union has long called for a broad investigation into the torture program and accountability for the government officials who knew about and authorized abusive practices.

The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU:

"This revelation illustrates the lengths to which the Bush administration went in order to shield its conduct from the courts and keep prisoners outside the protection of the law. Secret detention constitutes a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions, and the officials who authorized the CIA's secret prisons and torture program should be held accountable.

"The Bush administration's efforts to defeat the courts' jurisdiction must be added to the list of abuses that the current administration has thus far failed to prosecute or even to investigate. The Justice Department has initiated a criminal investigation into instances in which CIA interrogators exceeded their authority, but that investigation is too narrow. The Justice Department's investigation should examine not just the conduct of interrogators, but the conduct of the officials who authorized torture. The Obama administration's failure to hold senior officials accountable undermines the rule of law."

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