Robert Evans / Reuters & David Segal / DemandProgress & The Bill of Rights Defense Committee, et al. – 2014-12-01 00:42:59
UN Investigators Urge Obama to Release CIA Report
Robert Evans / Reuters
GENEVA (November 26, 2014) — United Nations human rights investigators called on President Barack Obama to live up to principles preached by the United States around the world and release a long completed report on CIA interrogation methods.
In an open letter issued in Geneva, the seven investigators and academic legal experts, said publication of the report by a Senate committee would be welcomed by victims of torture and their supporters everywhere.
Among the signatories were the world body’s special rapporteurs for torture and for freedom of expression.
“As a nation that has publicly affirmed its belief that respect for truth advances respect for the rule of law, and as a nation that frequently calls for transparency and accountability in other countries, the United States must rise to meet the standards it has set both for itself and others,” the open letter declared.
The Senate committee spent four years investigating waterboarding and other CIA practices used against terrorism suspects during the administration of former president George W. Bush. In April, it approved its report for release.
But the document has not yet been published, largely because of CIA demands that it be edited to obscure names and patterns of behavior that were crucial “in the system of violations that needs to be understood and redressed,” the open letter said.
The investigators, including one American and three Latin Americans who work at US universities and cover areas like torture, arbitrary execution and freedom of expression, said other countries were closely watching the issue.
“Victims of torture and human rights defenders around the world will be emboldened if you take a strong stand in support of transparency,” they told Obama.
“On the contrary, if you yield to the CIA’s demands for continued secrecy on this issue, those resisting accountability will surely misuse this decision to bolster their agenda in their own countries,” the seven added.
The American in the group was David Kaye, a former State Department lawyer and a university professor in California who is special rapporteur on freedom of expression for the UN Human Rights Council.
The group also included Juan Mendez, an Argentine former victim of torture under his country’s military regime and now UN special rapporteur on torture and other cruel or degrading treatment.
Editing by Tom Heneghan
ACTION ALERT: Ask Udall to Read Torture Report!
David Segal / DemandProgress
The CIA is trying to block Americans from learning the full scope of the torture that was conducted in our names during the Bush administration. But we have a special opportunity to beat them.
Since late last week, more than 40,000 Demand Progress members, and more than 100,000 people in total, have urged anti-torture advocate Senator Mark Udall to release the report — as is his Constitutional right — before he leaves office in January.
Read on for more details — and if you’ve already taken action, or even if you haven’t, please forward this email to 5 of your friends. It’s important.
Sign the Petition to Senator Mark Udall:
‘Enter the CIA torture report into the Congressional Record’
The Bill of Rights Defense Committee, et al.
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s “torture report” is expected to detail shocking abuse of prisoners at the hands of the CIA during the Bush administration, and even possible CIA lying to Congress. But seven months after the Senate Intelligence Committee voted overwhelmingly to release the report to the American people, the White House is stonewalling Congress and demanding “redactions” — blacked-out sections and information — before making its contents public.
But there’s a way around that — and before the end of the year, we have a rare chance to make it happen.
Members of Congress have an absolute right to free speech, and a member could enter the report into the Congressional Record in its entirety — just as the Pentagon Papers were in 1971 — without fear of prosecution. That’s exactly what transparency advocates are calling on outgoing, staunchly anti-torture and pro-transparency Sen. Mark Udall to do.
Sign the Petition to Sen. Mark Udall:
If you enter the torture report into the Congressional Record, we’ll have your back.
Our Message to Sen. Mark Udall:
Before leaving office, please submit the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report to the Congressional Record. We know that you are considering undertaking this heroic and courageous act, and we and countless others will support you if you choose to do so.
We will deliver a copy of this petition and a list of signers to Sen. Mark Udall, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein and President Obama to make sure our message is heard.
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Fight for the Future
Just Foreign Policy
RH Reality Check
Win Without War
Note: When you sign our petition, your name and email address may be provided to one or more of the sponsoring organizations. You may opt out at any time.
(c) 2014. Organized by Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Blue America, Code Pink, CREDO, Daily Kos, Demand Progress, Digby’s Hullabaloo, Fight for the Future, Just Foreign Policy, The Nation, RH Reality Check, RootsAction.org, USaction, Win Without War
We Tortured Them
David Segal / DemandProgress.org
WASHINGTON (November 21, 2014) — The Senate Intelligence Committee’s “torture report” is expected to detail shocking abuse of prisoners at the hands of the CIA during the Bush administration, and even possible CIA lies to Congress to cover it up. Unsurprisingly, the CIA is trying to prevent much of the report from seeing light of day.
As we understand it, the report of course covers waterboarding and other torture that’s euphemistically been called “enhanced interrogation”, but also makes it clear that the CIA engaged in even more grotesque, unreported acts as well. All in our names.
But seven months after the Senate Intelligence Committee voted overwhelmingly to release the report to the American people, the White House is stonewalling Congress and demanding “redactions” — blacked-out sections that make the report unintelligible — before making its contents public.
We have a real chance to have the report released before the end of the year, when Senator Mark Udall leaves office.
Here’s how: Members of Congress have an absolute right to free speech, and a member could release the report in its entirety without fear of prosecution.
This is just as the Pentagon Papers, disclosing lies that underpinned our involvement in Vietnam, were released in 1971. That’s exactly what transparency advocates are calling on the outgoing, staunchly anti-torture and pro-transparency Senator Udall to do — and he’s made it clear that he’s actively considering doing so.
This is would be a courageous act that would incur the ire of very powerful interests — so we need to make sure that Udall knows countless people will support him if he chooses to move forward. We have a real chance to make history — and hold the Bush administration and the CIA’s torturers accountable. Let’s get it done.
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