We have all been outraged and saddened by the stories of how our government violated basic human rights. Waterboarding, stress positions, sleep deprivation, detainees stripped and abused – the list goes on. Yet so far there has been all too little accountability for those who laid the groundwork for torture.
Some of the most culpable are the lawyers who cravenly wrote memos that provided justifications for what we all know is wrong. That is why Alliance for Justice has joined with CREDO Action to demand that Attorney General Eric Holder release a report that would shed light on what happened and help us hold those lawyers accountable.
The Department of Justice has been investigating the infamous “torture memos” since 2004. A report on the findings was expected by June of this year. Four months later, we are still waiting to hear from the Justice Department on exactly who authorized the use of torture by American men and women.
Lack of public information about how torture was approved keeps the focus on the actions of CIA interrogators, rather than investigating those who designed, ordered, and justified torture. There is strong political pressure, including within the Obama administration, not to look back – not to investigate. But how can we hold other countries accountable for acts of torture, and not ourselves? Releasing the report is the first step in establishing accountability.
Americans have a right to know the facts about what U.S. government lawyers did to provide legal cover for torture. We must hold accountable those who led America astray to make sure this travesty of justice never happens again.