In response to the release today of a declassified version of the summary and findings of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on CIA detention and interrogation, Amnesty International USA's executive director, Steven W. Hawkins, issued the following statement:
“Today’s release once again makes crystal clear that the US government used torture. Torture is a crime and those responsible for crimes must be brought to justice.
“This was not some rogue operation. This was a program, chilling in its detail, unlawful from day one, that gave the green light to commit the crimes under international law of torture and enforced disappearance–with impunity. It’s time for accountability, including a full investigation, prosecutions and remedy for victims.
“Former President George W. Bush should have been investigated long ago for his role in authorizing this program, including his assertion since leaving office that he personally granted the CIA’s request to use waterboarding and other ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ against particular detainees. No person, however high the office they may have held, is above the rule of law.
“Under the UN Convention Against Torture, no exceptional circumstances whatsoever can be invoked to justify torture, and all those responsible for authorizing or carrying out torture or other ill-treatment must be fully investigated.
“The US government is also required under international law to ensure remedy for victims and to disclose the full truth about the human rights violations that occurred in the CIA program. This means release of the full Senate report, without any redactions obscuring information about gross violations of international law.
“The failure of President Obama and Congress to ensure accountability for torture, enforced disappearances, and other human rights violations leaves the USA in serious violation of its international legal obligations.”
Follow Steven W. Hawkins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/StevenWHawkins
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million members in over 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.