Tonight, as part of a campus-wide “Torture Awareness Campaign,” the John Jay College of Criminal Justice will host an adaptation of the ACLU/PEN American Center’s “Reckoning with Torture” which is a public education program designed to draw attention to the torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. custody under the Bush administration. The event features readings of recently declassified torture documents (many of them unearthed through ACLU lawsuits), including the Office of Legal Counsel torture memos and FBI e-mails, as well as detainee testimonials and statements made by former Bush administration officials.
The event will also feature imagery from artist Jenny Holzer’s Redaction Paintings. (David Breslin, who works with Holzer, blogged about the paintings for our Accountability for Torture forum last year).
Manfred Nowak, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, will also give a speech.
The event is free and open to the public, so join us! It’s at 7 p.m. at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at 899 10th Avenue at 58th Street. If you’re not in New York, you can watch videos online of past Reckoning with Torture events that we’ve held in NYC and Washington D.C.
Accountability for torture is essential to restoring American credibility at home and abroad. Just today, we learned that Poland will investigate its own role in the rendition of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. The U.S. can no longer remain silent as, one by one, other nations begin to reckon with their own agents’ complicity in the torture program through prosecutions and judicial inquiries.
Join the ACLU’s call for accountability by taking action to demand the Justice Department conduct a thorough investigation of the torture program, including the senior Bush administration officials who authorized and facilitated it.