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Today, former CIA officials purported to respond to last year’s Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture by releasing a book entitled “Rebuttal.” Downplaying the criminal misconduct identified by the Senate Intelligence Committee last year in its landmark report, the officials defend the torture regime constructed and carried out by the U.S. government following the September 11 attacks.

In response to the publication of “Rebuttal,” Naureen Shah, Director of Amnesty International USA’s Security with Human Rights program, issued the following statement:

“This book could only exist within a culture of impunity for torture. Because of the U.S. government’s failure to conduct proper investigations or prosecutions, officials can speak freely about the use of torture without fear of consequences.

Torture is unambiguously illegal, and the United States’ international legal obligations require accountability and redress. Yet an open discussion of torture is met with indifference from the Justice Department. That sends a clear message that torture is sometimes acceptable, and remains a viable policy option.”

Amnesty International USA continues to call upon the U.S. Department of Justice to re-open investigations and pursue prosecutions as appropriate against U.S. officials responsible for torture.