Human Rights Organization Calls on Department of Justice to Investigate Cheney and Other Architects of Bush National Security Policies
(Washington, DC) — Tom Parker, policy director for terrorism, counterterrorism and human rights for Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement in advance of the release of former Vice President Dick Cheney’s memoir.
"One can only hope that former Vice President Cheney’s memoir will not serve as yet another vehicle through which to peddle the same discredited mix of half-baked assertions and dark threats that marked his time in office. These have been comprehensively debunked by every new piece of information that emerges about the Bush administration’s failed counterterrorism policies.
"Military commissions have been a decade-long debacle, coercive interrogation has tarnished the United States’ reputation around the world, and the vast majority of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay have long since been released because they had little or no connection to Al Qaeda. Yet in the more than two years since Cheney left the White House, he’s touted this record as one to be proud of.
"The former vice president along with other senior Bush administration officials crafted policies that institutionalized torture, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances. These are all egregious abuses that the United States has excoriated when used by other states.
"Former Vice President Cheney’s role as an architect of the Bush counterterrorism strategy is well documented. Amnesty International continues to call for accountability for the policies and remedy for the victims of the so-called war on terror including Maher Arar.*
"Additionally, Amnesty International is reiterating its call to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to immediately open a criminal investigation into the role former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and other officials played in the use of torture on detainees held in U.S. custody."
Amnesty International has launched Cheney's Conscience (@fakecheney), a parody account on Twitter and asks people to follow the account and retweet messages. Amnesty International activists will protest outside the Department of Justice building in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, August 30, urging the Attorney General to open a criminal investigation into the officials who green-lighted Bush administration war-on-terror policies, of which Cheney was a key architect. For persons interested in taking action, please visit www.amnestyusa.org/cheneyaction.
*Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, was travelling home to Canada from visiting relatives in Tunisia in 2002. While changing planes at New York City's JFK airport, he was detained by U.S. authorities and then transferred secretly to Syria, where he was held for a year and tortured. Released without charge and allowed to return home to Canada, Maher Arar received an apology and compensation from the Canadian government for its role in his treatment. But the U.S. government has failed to apologize or offer Maher Arar any form of remedy – despite its obligation to do so under the U.N. Convention Against Torture and other human rights treaties.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.
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For more information, please visit: www.amnestyusa.org.