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ACLU Condemns Former CIA Directors' Attempt To Derail Justice Department Investigation Into Torture

Investigation Should Proceed Without Interference

NEW YORK - Former
CIA directors, including some of the architects of the Bush
administration's interrogation policies, today sent a letter to
President Obama encouraging him to reverse Attorney General Eric
Holder's decision to investigate whether crimes were committed in
connection with the interrogation of detainees in U.S. custody
overseas.

The American Civil Liberties Union
has called on the Justice Department to conduct a comprehensive
criminal investigation into the Bush administration's rendition,
interrogation and detention program.

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

"Attorney General Holder initiated a
criminal investigation because the available evidence shows that
prisoners were abused and tortured in CIA custody. The suggestion that
President Obama should order Attorney General Holder to abort the
investigation betrays a misunderstanding of the role of the attorney
general as well as the relationship between the attorney general and
the president. Where there is evidence of criminal conduct, the
attorney general has not just the authority but the duty to
investigate. The attorney general is the people's lawyer, not the
president's lawyer, and it would be profoundly inappropriate for
President Obama to interfere with his work. 

"The attorney general's
investigation should be allowed to proceed without interference, and it
certainly should not be derailed by the self-serving protests of former
CIA officials who oversaw the very crimes that are being investigated.
If there is a problem with the unfolding criminal investigation, it is
that its focus is too narrow. There is abundant evidence that torture
was authorized at the highest levels of the Bush administration, and
the Justice Department's investigation should be broad enough to
encompass Bush administration lawyers and senior officials – including
the CIA officials – who authorized torture."

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