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This is a key opportunity for us to put the Obama administration on the right track, because it is currently in violation of U.S. law: Dick Cheney admitted his role in waterboarding and said he would do it again; the new Attorney General, Eric Holder, said that waterboarding is torture; and the Convention Against Torture, which is U.S. law, requires the administration to initiate a meaningful criminal investigation when torture occurs.
News reports are now saying the Attorney General is close to appointing a Special Prosecutor, but it doesn’t look like good news. Insiders say Eric Holder wants to limit the scope of the prosecutor’s investigation to low-level CIA operatives and let those who ordered, designed, and justified the torture program off the hook. Before it’s too late, please write Holder today, and tell him not to tie the Prosecutor’s hands but to let the investigation go as far up the chain of command as the facts lead.
Should Eric Holder limit the scope of the Special Prosecutor’s investigation to focus on “just a few bad apples” he would be allowing high level government officials to shield themselves with the very torture memos they created to break the law in the first place. And what about the lawyers like John Yoo, Jay Bybee and David Addington who tried to rig the law to justify their bosses’ actions? They must be investigated, too.
President Obama has told us and the world that no one is above the law. Prosecuting the high-level former officials responsible for torture can give a measure of justice to the victims and provide the strongest deterrent against future administrations going down this dark path again. Prosecution will also be a clear signal to countries around the world that the U.S. has drawn the line at torture. No executive order, policy change or new legislation will have that same power.