The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Robyn Shepherd, (212) 519-7829 or 549-2666;

ACLU Launches Unique, Interactive Online Report on US Torture

'The Torture Report' Is First-of-Its-Kind Site Allowing Public to Participate in Ongoing Investigation Into Bush Torture Program


American Civil Liberties Union launched a one-of-a-kind, interactive
online resource today that will not only provide regularly updated
information and analysis on the Bush administration's torture program,
but will allow the public to comment on content, engage with experts
and have a role in the ongoing process of creating the report.

The Torture Report
is an ongoing, in-depth analysis of the Bush administration's torture
program - from its improvised inception to the systematic maltreatment
of detainees - that is constantly updated as chapters are added.
Annotators, including expert human rights advocates, military lawyers,
bloggers and ACLU attorneys, will provide ongoing analysis to the
report as it is written. In addition, the public will be able to offer
comments and suggestions as the report is compiled.

The site is a one-stop resource for
the press, the human rights community and the public. It will draw on
over 130,000 pages of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents and
on the work human rights groups, news organizations, investigative
journalists, researchers and writers have done over the last eight
years. The Torture Report
synthesizes these many resources into a single, comprehensive, readable
and interactive narrative. Updates will be made as new information
comes to light and announced on a diary page that greets visitors to
the site.

"Restoring the rule of law will
require finally confronting the gross human rights abuses of the last
administration," said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National
Security Project. "Crucial to this process will be the creation of a
comprehensive and publicly accessible record of the last eight years.
The online report we're launching today will be an important part of
that record."

"The Torture Report
will provide a level of detailed and comprehensive analysis and
synthesis of a wide variety of materials that isn't always possible in
traditional media today," said Larry Siems of the PEN American Center,
the report's principle writer. "The public nature of the editorial
process ensures that discussion of this complicated matter remains
open, vibrant and accessible to all."

Chapters of The Torture Report
will be primarily written by Siems, an experienced human rights
researcher who has been published widely. Annotators include former
interrogator Matthew Alexander, military defense lawyer Major David
Frakt, U.S. Air Force Reserve, Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald,
Director of Human Rights Watch's Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program
Joanne Mariner, student activist Deborah Popowski, OneWorld Research
Director John Sifton and blogger Marcy Wheeler. ACLU attorneys Alex
Abdo, Mike German, Melissa Goodman, Jon Hafetz, Jameel Jaffer, Steven
Watt and Ben Wizner will contribute analysis as well.

The Torture Report is available online at:

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

(212) 549-2666