Alliance for Justice Condemns Decision Not to Prosecute C.I.A. Officials for Destroying Interrogation Tapes
Calls for Special Prosecutor to Act with Renewed Urgency on Other Torture Investigations
Press ContactKevin Fry email@example.com
Washington, D.C., November 10, 2010—Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron today issued the following statement on the decision by Special Prosecutor John Durham to allow the statute of limitations to expire without pressing charges against C.I.A. agents and attorneys who participated in the destruction of videotapes chronicling the interrogations and mistreatment of Abu Zubaydah and Abd a-Rahim al-Nashiri:
Alliance for Justice is extremely disappointed that once again no one in the United States government is being held accountable for criminal acts undertaken as part of the Bush Administration’s policy of abusing and torturing prisoners. The decision by Prosecutor Durham not to prosecute C.I.A. officials who willfully destroyed evidence of detainee mistreatment continues the pattern of prosecutors ignoring illegal conduct. John Durham should release a report of his findings and publicly explain the reasoning for his decision to allow C.I.A. officials off the hook.
Special Prosecutor Durham’s decision is particularly disturbing in light of the admission this week by former President George W. Bush that he willingly authorized torture and that his actions were acceptable because a lawyer told him he could do it. Since Nuremburg, the world has understood that lawyers cannot provide immunity for crimes against humanity. We have also come to understand that the lawyers who enable such crimes themselves violate the law and can be prosecuted, whether they work for the Department of Justice or the C.I.A. Each time our government fails to face up to the crimes of its leaders, the United States slips further toward lawlessness and diminishes its hard-won ability to lead the world toward respect for the rule of law and human rights.
In light of President Bush’s admissions and with abundant evidence available of egregious and criminal behavior, we call on John Durham and the Justice Department to accelerate and intensify the investigation into the Bush Administration’s illegal torture practices. It is long past time for the Obama Administration to take seriously its commitment to uphold the law of the land and bring to justice both the senior leaders who authorized torture and the lawyers who served as their enablers. To do otherwise makes a mockery of the men and women of the military, who, since George Washington, have treated prisoners humanely and of our long-professed belief that the rule of law should guide the world.
Alliance for Justice is a national association of more than 100 organizations dedicated to advancing justice and democracy. For more than 30 years, AFJ has led the fight for a more equitable society on behalf of a broad constituency of environmental, consumer, civil and women's rights, children's, senior citizens' and other groups. Alliance for Justice is premised on the belief that all Americans have the right to secure justice in the courts and to have our voices heard when government makes decisions that affect our lives.