New Revelations About Secret Torture Authorizations From DOJ
NEW YORK - October 4 – The New York Times reported today that the U.S. government is still holding people at CIA black sites after purporting to end the program a year ago, and is generating secret memos to propagate a program of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" that in reality qualify as torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
"Even as the government was publicly denouncing torture, our client Majid Khan and others were being subjected to it," said Vincent Warren, Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). The Center represents many of the detainees at Guantánamo including Majid Khan, a Baltimore resident who was held in secret CIA detention until last September. CCR is representing the detainees before the Supreme Court this term in a direct challenge to the unprecedented and unconstitutional expansion of executive authority to detain suspects without due process.
According to CCR attorneys, administration officials in both the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) wrote opinions and sought to justify U.S. torture tactics in order to support the president's will and not the rule of law. It is clear from reports that even within the Department of Justice and the administration there has been strong dissent against these policies, and that those who have opposed them have been phased out of their roles or sidelined.
Speaking of the upcoming confirmation process for the new attorney general, Vincent Warren said that in order to restore honor to the office, the nominee must publicly promise to rescind the broad torture framework unlawfully built up by this administration, turn over all relevant documents to Congress, and mount an investigation of DOJ complicity in subverting the rule of law. "Torture is illegal, immoral, and it doesn't work. Detainee torture policies that produce faulty intelligence and exaggerated confessions result in innocent men being locked up. Without access to real courts and the ability to challenge the basis for their detention, the detainees will never see justice."