ACLU Urges Obama Administration To Turn Over Torture Documents

For Immediate Release

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Rachel Myers, (212) 549-2689 or 2666; media@aclu.org

ACLU Urges Obama Administration To Turn Over Torture Documents

May 2005 Bradbury Memos Said To Ratify CIA’s Torture Program

NEW YORK -  In
advance of a looming deadline in long-running Freedom of Information
Act litigation, the American Civil Liberties Union today urged the
government to immediately release Bush-era legal memos that authorized
the torture of prisoners in CIA custody. According to reports, there is
a debate within the Obama administration about whether to continue to
withhold the documents, which include three legal memoranda authored in
May 2005 by Stephen Bradbury, who was then a lawyer in the Justice
Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. In connection with an ACLU
lawsuit seeking these memos and other government records, a federal
judge has given the Justice Department until tomorrow to disclose the
memos or explain its refusal to do so.

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

“Using national security as a
pretext, the Bush administration managed to suppress these memos for
more than three years, denying the public crucial information about
government policy and shielding government officials from
accountability. The Obama administration should end this cover-up and
release the memos. The memos supplied the foundation for an
interrogation program that permitted the most barbaric forms of abuse,
violated domestic and international law, alienated America’s allies,
and yielded information that was both unreliable and unusable in court.
The public should be permitted to see the documents that purported to
justify this lawless program. If the Obama administration is truly
committed to restoring transparency to government, it should disclose
these documents immediately.”

More information about the ACLU's litigation is available online at: www.aclu.org/torturefoia

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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