CODEPINK Press Release
December 9, 2014
CODEPINK Calls for Prosecution of Torturers in Light Release of US Senate Report on Torture
Washington, DC–– On the release of the US Senate Report on Torture, CODEPINK 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.
As citizens, we are gratified that we will finally get a clearer sense from the $50-million, 6,200-page report of just how outrageous and illegal the abuse of prisoners in CIA custody was, we are equally concerned that the guilt it reveals will never be acted upon. In particular, the acknowledged torture techniques used must not be allowed to go unpunished, such as the horrific waterboarding of one person 183 times.
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.
We call 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.
We also call for the firing of CIA Director John Brennan. “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.”
We are grateful to Senator Feinstein and the Senate Intelligence Committee for their hard work and dedication in bringing these criminal acts to light. But the public is only allowed to see a CIA-redacted 500-page summary of the 6,200-page report. We believe that the public deserves to see the entire document so that we know the details of what our government was doing with our taxdollars and in our name. We call on Congress to release the full report immediately, and direct Attorney General Holder to indict everyone responsible for these war crimes, from ex-president Bush on down.