For Immediate Release


James Freedland, (212) 519-7829 or 549-2666;


Memos Show White House Endorsed CIA Waterboarding

White House issued two secret memos endorsing the CIA's use of
waterboarding and other forms of torture on detainees, according to a
news report published today in the Washington Post. The memos, which
show that senior Bush administration officials expressly endorsed the
CIA's abusive practices, should have been turned over in response to an
American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit seeking information on the abuse
of prisoners held in U.S. custody overseas.

The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project:

"This new report supplies further
evidence that the decision to endorse torture was made by the
administration's most senior officials. The report also underscores
once again how much information is still being withheld by this
administration. The government is not permitted to withhold records in
order to shield officials from embarrassment or to conceal evidence of
illegal activity, but this administration continues to use the
classification power to suppress information for precisely those ends."

To date, more than 100,000 pages of
government documents have been released in response to the ACLU's
lawsuit. They are available online at:
Many of these documents are also
compiled and analyzed in "Administration of Torture," a book by Jaffer
and ACLU staff attorney Amrit Singh. More information is available
online at:

In addition to Jaffer and Singh,
attorneys on the case are Alexa Kolbi-Molinas and Judy Rabinovitz of
the national ACLU; Arthur Eisenberg and Beth Haroules of the New York
Civil Liberties Union; Lawrence S. Lustberg and Jennifer B. Condon of
the New Jersey-based law firm Gibbons P.C.; and Shayana Kadidal and
Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights.



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