Interrogation Reports Further Demonstrate the Need for Comprehensive Nonpartisan Commission of Inquiry

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Matthew Allee, (202) 580-6922 or mallee@constitutionproject.org

Interrogation Reports Further Demonstrate the Need for Comprehensive Nonpartisan Commission of Inquiry

Limited investigation by a special prosecutor will not provide a much-needed comprehensive understanding of troubling past policies

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration today made public more
portions of the 2004 CIA Inspector General report that examined the
agency's interrogation program used for suspected terrorists in the
aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001. The newly-released
information provides additional details on the now widely-discredited
legal rationale used to justify harsh interrogation tactics - tactics
that have since been prohibited by President Obama.  

Also
reported this morning is a yet-to-be released report from the
Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility that
recommends reopening nearly a dozen cases of alleged prisoner abuse at
the hands of CIA personnel and contractors. Both reports likely
contributed to the news accounts this afternoon that Attorney General
Holder will appoint a special prosecutor in the coming days to
investigate nearly a dozen cases in which CIA interrogators and
contractors may have violated anti-torture laws and other statutes when
they allegedly threatened suspected terrorists held by the United
States.  

The following can be attributed to Virginia Sloan, president of the Constitution Project:  

"Today's
release of the CIA Inspector General report and the news that a key
Justice Department office recommends reopening cases charging abuse
further demonstrate the need for a full and impartial investigation
into our nation's past national security policies. News accounts this
afternoon indicate the attorney general will appoint a special
prosecutor to investigate some specific allegations of abuse, but an
examination of a dozen cases will not bring the full scope of U.S.
policies to light. A bipartisan commission is still needed to provide a
comprehensive understanding of past deviations from the rule of law.
Until a commission of inquiry is created, Americans will forever be
looking over our shoulders, wondering what damning facts will next
emerge.  

"President Obama has pledged to restore the rule of law
and adhere to our constitutional principles. Both steps are badly
needed. But for our nation to properly move forward, and for our
citizens to be able to hold our leaders accountable, we must know all
of the policies that were implemented in our name. Only with a full
understanding can we ensure that policies allowing abusive and illegal
treatment will stay in our nation's past."  

In April, the
Constitution Project joined a coalition of 18 other advocacy
organizations in a campaign to urge President Obama to appoint an
independent commission to investigate the treatment of people detained
since September 11, 2001 by the United States or at the direction of
the United States as part of antiterrorism or counterterrorism
activities.
 

To see more on the campaign effort, go to:
http://www.commissiononaccountability.org/

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The Constitution Project is a politically independent think tank established in 1997 to promote and defend constitutional safeguards. More information about the Constitution Project is available at http://constitutionproject.org/.

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