Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Amy E. Ferrer
or (413) 582-0110

Press Release

BORDC Disappointed by Obama's Reversal on Detainee Photos

President Continuing Yet Another Policy He Opposed During His Campaign

Yesterday President Obama decided not to release detainee torture
photos in response to American Civil Liberties Union's information
request.  The Bill of Rights Defense Committee
stands with the ACLU and the American people in supporting the
disclosure of these photos as required by law. The President has
repeatedly promised to uphold government transparency and the rule of
law, but this unprincipled maintenance of secrecy disappointingly
betrays those promises.

One of President Obama's
first official acts was to order the closure of the Guantánamo Bay
detention center, but he later appealed District Court Judge John D.
Bates' ruling that detainees at the Bagram Air Force Base in
Afghanistan have habeas corpus rights.  Obama campaigned against the
Bush administration's extensive use of the state secrets privilege to
halt lawsuits that might expose the government's own unconstitutional
activities, such as warrantless wiretapping, but since taking office
his Justice Department has actually expanded the state secrets
privilege and continued its use.  And this week we learned that the
administration plans to restart military commissions to try detainees
and potentially detain prisoners indefinitely, both clear violations of
the Constitution and international treaties.  Yesterday's decision to
appeal the release of these torture photos is yet another addition to
this mounting heap of the Obama administration's hypocrisy.  Mr. Obama
has betrayed his own ideals as well as his legal obligations and the
trust of the American people.

Chip Pitts, president
of BORDC's Board of Directors, said, "Greater transparency and
accountability is not merely a subject for nice speeches, but an
indispensable prerequisite to learning the lessons of the mistakes made
during the last eight years, ending U.S. double standards, and
reinvigorating our national reputation and genuine national security."

we had high hopes for the new administration, it has become clear that
the only way the government will change is if the American people unite
to demand transparency, accountability, and justice.  Grassroots action
is our only option.  We encourage Americans of conscience to join with
the Bill of Rights Defense Committee in taking action to oppose the
President's violations and demand that Congress reclaim its
constitutional role as a check on executive power.  Visit
to join our People's Campaign for the Constitution and build a
coalition in your community to stand up against these policies and hold
your President and members of Congress accountable for their actions.


Defending Rights & Dissent strengthens our participatory democracy by protecting the right to political expression.  

About the merger of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and Defending Dissent Foundation

In 2015, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) and the Defending Dissent Foundation agreed to merge to place both organizations and their respective supporters in an even stronger position to help restore constitutional rights eroded by executive agencies.

While BORDC was established to fight the PATRIOT Act in the wake of its passage under the Bush administration, DDF was founded

Judge Blocks Biden From Continuing 'Inhumane' Trump Policy to Deport Families

"This is not the end of the battle against this practice," said one rights group, "but it is a major step to ensure that the U.S. welcomes these asylum-seeking families—as we should."

Jessica Corbett ·

400+ Economists Press Congress to Permanently Expand Child Tax Credit

Such an expansion would "dramatically reduce childhood poverty in the United States," they said.

Andrea Germanos ·

Biden Admin. Sued for Letting Big Oil Harass 'Imperiled' Polar Bears

"We're hopeful the court will overturn this dangerous rule that puts polar bears in the crosshairs."

Jessica Corbett ·

'Cruel and Callous': Biden Slammed for Resuming Deportations to Battered Haiti

"Hours after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, President Joe Biden released a statement saying that the United States was a 'friend' of Haiti. A 'friend' does not continuously inflict pain on another friend," said Guerline Jozef of the Haitian Bridge Alliance.

Kenny Stancil ·

Indian Civil Society Groups to Biden: Force J&J to Share Vaccine Recipe With the World

"His administration has the moral, legal, and if necessary, financial power to lift intellectual property barriers and persuade J&J to license its vaccine."

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo