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CIA Torture Report Due Monday

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August 21, 2009

Four long delays later, the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General is due to release its May 2004 report on the legality and effectiveness of the CIA’s torture program on Monday, August 24. We received this report as part of our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in May 2008, but it was so heavily redacted (PDF), it told us very little. So we’ve been litigating for a less-redacted version, and that’s what we’re hoping to finally see on Monday.

In the July 11 Newsweek article that first reported Attorney General Eric Holder is considering investigating Bush-era torture policies, Daniel Klaidman wrote:

[I]n late June Holder asked an aide for a copy of the CIA inspector general’s thick classified report on interrogation abuses. He cleared his schedule and, over two days, holed up alone in his Justice Department office, immersed himself in what Dick Cheney once referred to as “the dark side.” He read the report twice, the first time as a lawyer, looking for evidence and instances of transgressions that might call for prosecution. The second time, he started to absorb what he was reading at a more emotional level. He was “shocked and saddened,” he told a friend, by what government servants were alleged to have done in America’s name.

So with the release of this report on Monday, we’re also hoping Holder will announce a criminal investigation. But this investigation can’t just zero in on the rogue interrogators who acted outside the scope of the torture memos. It should proceed as any criminal investigation would: by simply following the facts where they lead, without limitations or political considerations.

It isn’t too late to encourage the Attorney General to do the right thing and investigate torture. Send him evidence of torture today.

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