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Torture, America, and Accountability

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June 11, 2009

Just over a year ago, the ACLU relaunched its national blog with a symposium called “Torture and America.” We invited a select group of guest bloggers to weigh in. This year, we’re marking the one-year anniversary of the Blog of Rights by revisiting the issue of torture with a new forum, which we’re expanding to include not just bloggers, but experts in the field: psychologists who’ve worked with torture victims, former military personnel, authors, attorneys who represent former and current Guantanamo detainees, and others. We’ll discuss the origins of the torture program, who’s responsible for these crimes, and most of all, the need for accountability.


To kick off this month-long forum, we have an exclusive podcast (MP3) :’s Glenn Greenwald, one of our original torture symposium contributors, interviews Philippe Sands, author of Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values (shameless plug: it’s newly available in paperback), and ACLU attorney Amrit Singh, co-counsel in the ACLU’s long-standing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. Thanks to that lawsuit, the public saw for the first time the infamous legal memos that authorized the use of torture on detainees in U.S. custody overseas.

We’re also launching our Accountability for Torture feature, a hub for everything you need to know about the issue, including a video about accountability, an infographic of the Bush administration players who authorized torture, an improved search function that allows the public to search thousands of documents we received through our FOIA request, and our prescription for accountability.

You can take action now: click here to browse some select documents from our FOIA request, and send one to the DOJ. By sending them evidence of torture, you’ll send a powerful message that you won’t tolerate torture in your name.

Remind the Obama administration that in America, no one is above the law and criminals must be held accountable.

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