Justice Department Office Says Detainee Abuse Cases Should Be Re-Opened

August 24, 2009 12:00 am

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Attorney General Holder Should Order Comprehensive Investigation, Says ACLU

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CONTACT: (212) 549-2689 or 2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK — News reports today indicate that the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility has advised Attorney General Holder to re-open investigations into almost a dozen cases of prisoner abuse by the CIA in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The news comes in advance of the expected release later today of the CIA Inspector General report which is said to document in detail brutal interrogation tactics used by the CIA. The report is being released as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking information about detainee abuse overseas.

The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project:

“It is encouraging that the Justice Department’s ethics office recognizes that prior decisions to cut off investigations of serious abuse cases were ill-advised, and that those who broke the law must be held accountable. It is critical, though, that the scope of any criminal investigation not be limited at the outset to exclude the investigation of senior officials who authorized torture or wrote the memos that were used to justify it. An investigation that begins and ends with so-called ‘rogue’ interrogators would be indefensible given the evidence of high-level involvement that is already in the public domain. Nor should any ‘good faith’ limitation be used as a shield for interrogators who knew or should have known that they were violating the law.”

More information can be found at: www.aclu.org/safefree/torture

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