Prosecution is a requirement, not just an option

Prosecution is a requirement, not just an option

"As a matter of international law, the US is legally obliged to bring those responsible to justice. The UN Convention Against Torture and the UN Convention on Enforced Disappearances require States to prosecute acts of torture and enforced disappearance where there is sufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction. States are not free to maintain or permit impunity for these grave crimes.

— Ben Emmerson, UN special rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights

The Senate release of the summary of its CIA torture report confirms to the world that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and other high officials authorized and approved the use of the most gruesome torture tactics against people who had been held at Guantanamo and secret CIA prisons throughout the world. 

The Bush-authorized torture programs included hanging people by their wrists for days on end, stuffing individuals into small coffin-like boxes for more than a week, water-boarding and near-drownings, forced sleep deprivation for 180 hours straight, threatening them with rape and even the murder of their mothers. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's chief of staff, estimates that over 100 died in detention.  

Click this link and take 30 seconds to send your letter to President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder demanding that a Special Prosecutor be appointed for these crimes.

These horrors were built by a national security apparatus with a culture of impunity. Top officials deliberately deceived oversight bodies and lied to the American public.

Now, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Zeid Raad al-Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, have both called for the prosecution of the officials responsible for the program. It violated international law and the treaties against torture to which the United States is a signatory.

Despite the international call for justice, the Justice Department has so far refused to initiate prosecution. This is an outrage. Please take action and send a letter to President Obama and Eric Holder.

The same agencies and officials responsible for the torture programs are those that say the American people must relinquish their privacy and right to an open government. Now they have been exposed once again for systematically lying, violating human rights and engaging in the worst forms of torture. Critically, those who engaged in and authorized these crimes against humanity must be held accountable.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund calls for the complete elimination of mass surveillance program, the long-overdue closure of Guantanamo, and an explicit ban on the torture methods described in the Senate report.

— From all of us at the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund