The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Rachel Myers, (212) 549-2689 or 2666;

Bush Administration Removed Detainees From Guantanamo to Avoid The Law

ACLU Calls For Broad Investigation Into Bush Torture Program


Bush administration moved four detainees from Guantanamo to secret CIA
prisons overseas in 2003 to keep them from having access to lawyers,
according to the Associated Press today. The transfer came just before
the Supreme Court ruled that prisoners at Guantanamo could challenge
their detention in U.S. courts. The American Civil Liberties Union has
long called for a broad investigation into the torture program and
accountability for the government officials who knew about and
authorized abusive practices.

The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU:

"This revelation illustrates the
lengths to which the Bush administration went in order to shield its
conduct from the courts and keep prisoners outside the protection of the
law. Secret detention constitutes a grave breach of the Geneva
Conventions, and the officials who authorized the CIA's secret prisons
and torture program should be held accountable.

"The Bush administration's efforts to
defeat the courts' jurisdiction must be added to the list of abuses
that the current administration has thus far failed to prosecute or even
to investigate. The Justice Department has initiated a criminal
investigation into instances in which CIA interrogators exceeded their
authority, but that investigation is too narrow. The Justice
Department's investigation should examine not just the conduct of
interrogators, but the conduct of the officials who authorized torture.
The Obama administration's failure to hold senior officials accountable
undermines the rule of law."

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.

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