John Brennan Defends Torture; CODEPINK Calls on President Obama to Fire Him



December 12, 2014



Medea Benjamin,, 415-235-6517

Ret. Colonel Ann Wright,, 808-741-1141

Alli McCracken,, 860-575-5692


Washington, DC–– After the release of the US Senate Report on Torture and the outrageous effort by CIA Director John Brennan to defend the use of torture, CODEPINK calls on President Obama to fire John Brennan. It also calls for prosecution of those who planned, coordinated and ordered the criminal acts detailed in the report, committed by officials and agents of the United States government.

“Brennan was high up in the CIA when the torture happened, he authorized the illegally hacking into the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computers during their investigation, and he tried to obstruct the release of the report,” said CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin. “While the CIA’s problems go deeper than Brennan’s leadership, his ouster would mark a significant first step in reining in and ultimately abolishing this rogue agency.”


CODEPINK’s call echoes that of Senator Mark Udall, who has called for Brennan’s firing. "Director Brennan and the CIA today are continuing to willfully provide inaccurate information and misrepresent the efficacy of torture. In other words: The CIA is lying,” said Senator Udall.


CODEPINK is gratified that the public is finally getting a clearer sense from the summary of the $50-million, 6,200-page report of just how outrageous and illegal the abuse of prisoners in CIA custody was. But we are equally concerned that the guilt it reveals will never be acted upon. In particular, the acknowledged torture techniques used - such as the horrific waterboarding of one person 183 times - must not be allowed to go unpunished.


As a signatory to the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT), we are required to prosecute anyone who commits or is complicit in torture or inhuman treatment of people in custody. Prosecution is not discretionary-- our Department of Justice must indict and prosecute anyone for whom there is evidence of torture, and this includes policy-makers and lawyers who incorrectly decided that waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” were legal. Torture is never legal, at any time, for any reason. The CAT prohibits acts that are inhuman or degrading as well; the CIA and military are clearly in violation of the law.


CODEPINK calls on the US Department of Justice to immediately file criminal complaints against senior officials in, and legal counsel to, the Bush Administration, starting with George W. Bush himself and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and including their lawyers Alberto Gonzalez, Douglas Feith, William Haynes, Jay Bybee, David Addington, and John Yoo for their roles in torture in violation of domestic and international law, as we did at the Nuremberg Trials.




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