Wednesday, October 7, 2009

DoJ Dithers on OPR Report - Tell Attorney General Holder to Investigate Torture

Alliance for Justice announces the release of its new documentary, Tortured Law, which examines the role lawyers played in authorizing torture. The film is being used to spark debate across the country, and calls on Attorney General Eric Holder to uphold the Constitution and the law by releasing the Justice Department's report on the "torture memos" and authorizing a full investigation of those who ordered, designed, and justified torture.
H/T for this video to Marcy Wheeler, who has an interesting post up on the latest delay in the Office of Professional Responsibility report on the OLC torture memos of Yoo, Bybee and Bradbury. She links the delay to the review of CIA attorney John Rizzo, and/or the CIA generally.

I'd say she is absolutely right. The reason is, I believe, in part due to the fact that the CIA's own Office of Technical Services (OTS) wrote an extensive report on the SERE-derived torture techniques for use by the Office of Legal Counsel in their construction of the first of the torture memos. The OTS report to OLC lied about the medical and psychological consequences of the proposed techniques. We know they lied because researchers in the same directorate of the CIA had themselves been studying the severe effects of these techniques going back at least to the 1990s.

The CIA must be working overtime to redact almost every culpable portion of the OPR report that links the OLC memos to the initial OTS/CIA report vetting the "enhanced interrogation techniques." If the latter comes out -- and the OTS paper is still classified, and according to my sources, until recently ACLU was not even aware of its existence -- then we will have a very clear picture of the culpability of the CIA in the construction of the torture program, just one short step away from the Oval Office orders, which Dick Cheney and Bush have already indicated they gave.

If the American public, and society in general, cannot totally dismantle this torture apparatus, bring its actors to the bar of justice, and ensure that this kind of serious criminality is stopped and prosecuted, then I fear for the future of this country... because it won't be very long before whatever the United States was, it will cease to exist, except perhaps in name only. It will be something too awful to contemplate, and a long dark chapter in history won't be ending, but just beginning.


Ryan said...


I apologize for such a nit-picking comment here, but I think you mean the "OPR Report" rather than the "OPC Report," right?


Valtin said...

Thanks, Ryan.

Alphabet soup mania.

I fixed the error.

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