Releasing Torture Memos Was Right Thing to Do

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Mary Boyle (202)736-5770

Releasing Torture Memos Was Right Thing to Do

WASHINGTON - Common Cause commends President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder for standing up for the rule of law and releasing the long-held secret torture memos.

"You have made it clear that America does not tolerate 'secret laws' and that the American people condemn the use of torture," said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. "You have done the right thing in releasing minimally redacted copies of these memos when many voices urged continued secrecy."

Common Cause continues to urge the creation of an independent panel to investigate abuses of power by the Bush Administration, including torture and other reprehensible acts believed to have taken place during the previous administration.

"For our democracy to truly flourish, we believe that actions must have consequences," Edgar said. "Government officials who abused the power of their office, who used legal connivance to authorize heinous conduct, must be held accountable. We must fully investigate the full extent of the illegal activities that were conducted under our name. Only an independent commission of inquiry can provide the understanding needed for the reflection that you call for in your statement announcing the release of the memos."

"To move forward, we must know the truth regarding past conduct," Common Cause testified last month before the US Senate Judiciary Committee considering a nonpartisan commission of inquiry. "To do so is not looking back, but rather looking to the future. Continued secrecy and indifference to prior conduct will do lasting damage to the fabric of our democracy, weakening faith in our ability to live up to the promise of governance by laws, not men, enshrined in our founding documents.

The full statement can be found at http://www.commoncause.org/CommissionInquiryStatement.

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Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

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