Just as the volume of calls for investigations into the U.S. torture program reached deafening levels this week, another classified report came out Tuesday that revealed new details about the military’s role in torturing detainees.
This latest report by the Senate Armed Services Committee exposes the “few bad apples” argument as a complete farce.1 While the Bush Administration was publicly saying the horrors of Abu Ghraib were just aberrations, this report clearly shows that in fact, torture was sanctioned and even encouraged in military detention centers.
Thanks to citizen response over the past few weeks, the momentum for investigations is snowballing. Last Friday President Obama said this was a time for “reflection, not retribution”; less than a week later, national newspapers are reporting the President is now open to an investigation.2
But what kind of investigation? There’s a growing risk that we may get an investigation that lacks independence, legal authority, and the adequate funding necessary to tell the full truth about the illegal, U.S. torture program.
What we need is a non-partisan independent commission, free from political influences, that has subpoena power and enough money to track down every lead.3
Even with the release of this classified report, we still only know a portion of the truth. And it’s only by exposing the full truth of what was done in our names, that we can once and for all move forward and restore our nation’s credibility.
Let’s make sure whatever investigation moves forward, it’s backed by the authority and support it needs to be effective.
In just one week, we’ve gone from seeing an investigation as a long shot, to talking about what kind of investigation we need. Your actions, phone calls, and visits before Congress are making an impact. We’re getting closer to seeing our government actually do the right thing.
Thanks for standing with us.
Director, Counter Terror with Justice Campaign