Friday night, in a national television interview, President
Bush directly admitted what we have suspected all along:
The White House was deeply and intimately involved in
decisions about the CIA’s use of torture.
the first time, George W. Bush acknowledged that he knew his
top national security advisers discussed and approved specific
details of the CIA’s use of torture. “I’m aware that our
national security team met on this issue and I approved,” he
said. He also defended the use of waterboarding
— simulated drowning where the victim feels like they
are about to die.
Congress should long ago have gotten to the bottom of
which top officials approved, condoned and authorized U.S.
involvement in torture. But, now that the President has
admitted to a policy of top-down torture, the ACLU is calling
on Congress to demand an independent prosecutor to investigate
possible violations of the War Crimes Act, the federal
Anti-Torture Act and federal assault laws.
your members of Congress: Don’t look the other way on
latest revelations confirm our worst fears about subversion of
the Constitution and betrayals of the rule of law by top
government officials. Recent reports indicate that members of
the Bush administration including Dick Cheney, Condoleezza
Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and George Tenet met
regularly and approved the CIA’s use of “combined” “enhanced”
interrogation techniques, even pushing the limits of the now
infamous 2002 Justice Department “Yoo torture memo.”
That long-secret memorandum became public
recently as a direct result of ACLU lawsuits aimed at getting
out the truth. And the truth is, the indefensible
legal opinions put forward in the torture memo tried to give
the President a virtual blank check to ignore the rule of law
and to violate human rights standards.
torture. Demand accountability for torture now!
have to do everything possible to reject the Bush
administration’s top-down torture policies. That’s why the
ACLU is stepping up pressure on Congress to use its
constitutional powers to prevent illegal conduct.
also why the ACLU has taken the extraordinary step of offering
our assistance to Guantanamo detainees being prosecuted under
the unconstitutional military commissions process. It is more
important than ever that the U.S. government, when seeking
justice against those it suspects of harming us, adhere to due
process and the rule of law.
Take action: Tell
Congress to demand answers!
President Bush’s admission finally gets Congress to challenge
the Bush administration’s torture policies head-on, we can
begin restoring the values and due process that the Bush
administration has severely undermined in the name of national
it won’t happen without an unyielding public outcry. Please do
your part. Demand that
your members of Congress reject torture by holding to account
those responsible for approving and implementing these
Caroline Fredrickson, Director
ACLU, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor New York, NY