What will it take to hold CIA torturers to account? American Bar Association calls for prosecution

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A group of protesters demonstrated inside the US Congress on Monday against CIA torture (image Press TV)

The American Bar Association whose motto is “defending liberty, pursuing justice” has joined a coalition of human rights groups in calling for Obama to prosecute CIA torturers. Earlier this week I wrote that international human rights organizations were attempting to hold the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) accountable for torture as follows,

“Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Amnesty International called on United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a June 23, 2015 letter to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate torture and other violations of US law in connection with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)’s detention and interrogation program. The letter was attached to petitions signed by 111,788 concerned individuals supporting appointment of a special prosecutor”

See following link for full letter,

https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/06/23/us-joint-appeal-investigate-torture

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Protesters in Washington DC (image Andy Worthington) 

Now William C Hubbard, President of the Bar Association has stepped forward penning a letter to The Honorable Loretta E. Lynch Attorney General of the United States U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC. The link was posted online by Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch. The following is an extract,

Dear Attorney General Lynch:

The American Bar Association (ABA) is the national representative of the legal profession in the United States, with nearly 400,000 members worldwide. Consistent with domestic and international law, the ABA has long condemned the use of torture in all circumstances. In August 2004, the ABA adopted a policy resolution that states in pertinent part:

RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association condemns any use of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment upon persons within the custody or under the physical control of the United States government (including its contractors) and any endorsement or authorization of such measures by government lawyers, officials and agents; ….

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges the United States government to pursue vigorously (1) the investigation of violations of law, including the War Crimes Act and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, with respect to the mistreatment or rendition of persons within the custody or under the physical control of the United States government, and (2) appropriate proceedings against persons who may have committed, assisted, authorized, condoned, had command responsibility for, or otherwise participated in such violations; …. FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges the United States government to comply fully and in a timely manner with its reporting obligations as a State Party to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment[.]

See below for full text,

http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/uncategorized/GAO/2015june23_lettertodoj.authcheckdam.pdf

To date no one has been held to account despite a “torture report” being released on December 9th 2014 by the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI). However this was only a 525-page portion of a 6,000-page report. The rest remains classified. According to the Guardian, the report took several years to complete and allegedly cost $40 million to compile. It would be a total waste of state/taxpayers money if no action is taken on the findings and the trust of the people of America in their government to uphold justice would be greatly affected alongside the international community. See following link for details of torture.

“Rectal rehydration and waterboarding: the CIA torture report’s grisliest findings”

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/dec/09/cia-torture-report-worst-findings-waterboard-rectal

Activists are dressed up as prisoners to protest American torture in Chicago on Dec.10, 2014. Around 200 anti-violence activists held a peaceful assembly on the International Human Rights Day in Chicago. Some of them protested against the grand jury decisions in the death of Michael Brown in Fugerson, Missouri and also chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York. Other activists also blamed U.S. involvement in the Middle East, protested the U.S. torture used by the CIA revealed in a Tuesday's report since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack. (Xinhua/He Xianfeng) XINHUA /LANDOV

Activists are dressed up as prisoners to protest American torture in Chicago on Dec.10, 2014. Around 200 anti-violence activists held a peaceful assembly on the International Human Rights Day in Chicago. Some of them protested against the grand jury decisions in the death of Michael Brown in Fugerson, Missouri and also chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York. Other activists also blamed U.S. involvement in the Middle East, protested the U.S. torture used by the CIA revealed in a Tuesday’s report since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack. (Xinhua/He Xianfeng) XINHUA /LANDOV

Torture is a crime. Failure to prosecute CIA totally undermines the US government’s claim on the world stage to uphold human rights and shows gross double standards when America is so critical of the behaviour of other countries. As U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona stated in the Atlantic regarding the report,

“it is a thorough and thoughtful study of practices that I believe not only failed their purpose – to secure actionable intelligence to prevent further attacks on the U.S. and our allies – but actually damaged our security interests, as well as our reputation as a force for good in the world.” 

CIA torture has incited violence and created terrible “blowback” as is shown in the video releases of the Islamic State and a number of militant “jihadi” groups. IS have taken every opportunity to show their prisoners in the familiar orange jumpsuits associated with Guantanamo and produced “copycat” violence of that carried out in CIA torture sites. IS now looks for ever more shocking ways to hit back at the US carrying out its own versions of torture in full grisly detail. CIA torture has very likely contributed to the tragic deaths of western hostages in IS custody. The Taliban, Al Qaeda and other groups regularly refer to the torture methods of CIA in their online publications which influences their own actions. Violence breeds violence. CIA torture must not go unpunished. As I pointed out in an earlier article it is time there was a “War on Torture”, states crossing the line create a security risk for all.

Links

“CIA Torture Report : The Senate intelligence committee’s report on CIA torture” (Guardian link for full report)

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2014/dec/09/-sp-torture-report-cia-senate-intelligence-committee

“War on Torture: States crossing the line create a security risk for all”

https://activist1.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/war-on-torture-states-crossing-the-line-create-a-security-risk-for-all/

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.

About Carol Anne Grayson

Blogging for Humanity.... Campaigner/researcher global health/human rights/drones/WOT/insurgency http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/PO/experts/Health_and_Wellbeing.aspx Exec Producer of Oscar nominated documentary Incident in New Baghdad, currently filming on drones.
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2 Responses to What will it take to hold CIA torturers to account? American Bar Association calls for prosecution

  1. Michelle Lee says:

    I look forward to further interactions with you both on twitter as we have done so tonight and in following your publishings for greater awareness and understanding of the old ills that blanket not only our world but the American Nation. It has long been my wish that more Americans would wake up and open their eyes to the realities of the US Gov. I often wonder where all the brave ones have gone and what will it take before we have our over due revolution. I wish you peace and am proud to call you a radical sister. Sincerely, Michelle Lee

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