In his first nationally televised interview, President-elect Barack Obama made this promise: “I have said repeatedly that America doesn’t torture. And I’m gonna make sure that we don’t torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America’s moral stature in the world.” Let there be no doubt that we have been a country of torture and cruel treatment. The Bush administration ran a worldwide kidnapping, detention, and torture program. The Bush administration tortured and abused prisoners in Guantanamo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Secret Sites, and rendered prisoners to other counties for torture. We know this from the thousands of pages of official documents, testimony, and books that lay out what I call the torture program or torture conspiracy. We know this from the many survivors of this cruel torture and abuse program. These are people we at the Center for Constitutional Rights represent: at Guantanamo, in Iraq, from Afghanistan and those who have escaped secret sites and rendition. We know the names of many of the perpetrators—current and former officials of the government. Here are the names of a few of them:
- Members of the Principals Committee: Cheney, Rumsfeld, Tenet,
- Powell, Ashcroft, Rice and of course Bush—
- Members of the War Council made up of their lawyers: Gonzales and Flannigan, Addington, Haynes and Yoo.
- The anti-torture statute (18 USC sec.2340) and the war crimes statute (18 USC sec.2441)
This was the first time in history the United States sanctioned government officials to physically and psychologically torment US captives—making torture the official law of the land.Let’s make sure it’s the last time in history by bringing the torture conspirators to justice.