Attorney General Holder Should Order Comprehensive Torture Investigation, Says ACLU

July 22, 2009 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – According to recent news reports, Attorney General Eric Holder is considering appointing a prosecutor to investigate torture crimes under the Bush administration. However, many of these reports indicate that Holder is contemplating a narrow investigation that would focus only on CIA interrogators and contract employees who violated the Bush administration’s guidelines.

CIA Spokesperson Paul Gimigliano was quoted in today’s New York Times as saying, “This has all been reviewed and dealt with before.”

The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union:

“The evidence is abundantly clear that the crime of torture was authorized at the highest levels of the Bush administration. Making low-level officials take the fall while the big fish get away is not how we do justice in America. In America, no one is above the law, regardless of rank or position. A narrow investigation that fails from the outset to follow the facts where they lead would only perpetuate the Bush administration’s false claim that torture was the result of a ‘few bad apples,’ rather than confront the reality that it was a widespread, systemic and orchestrated policy set at the highest levels of government.

“For the CIA to claim that this has all been ‘dealt with before’ is both disingenuous and disturbing when, to date – despite the mountains of evidence of high-level involvement – the highest ranking official to be prosecuted for abuse was a Lieutenant Colonel. Turning away from the facts does not make them go away.

“Attorney General Holder should enforce the law even-handedly and objectively, and not let political calculations stand in the way. Those who authorized, legally justified and carried out this dark spot on our nation’s history must be held accountable.”

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