Privacy SOS

DOJ: No charges for torture, killing of CIA detainees

Here's a study in contrast: The Obama administration's Department of Justice is prosecuting someone for telling the public about CIA torture, and has let the CIA off the hook entirely not only for its torture regime but also for the killing of detainees in its custody.

Disclosures about torture are unacceptable. The torture (leading to death) itself? No matter.

The Holder DOJ is prosecuting John Kiriakou, a former CIA employee, for talking to reporters about CIA torture techniques, and for telling the public that he didn't think torture was effective or morally defensible. But when it comes to holding officials accountable for the torture itself, the DOJ has, as my colleague Ateqah Khaki writes, "finished sweeping the crimes of the Bush administration under the rug." 

ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer:

That the Justice Department will hold no one accountable for the killing of prisoners in CIA custody is nothing short of a scandal. The Justice Department has declined to bring charges against the officials who authorized torture, the lawyers who sought to legitimate it, and the interrogators who used it. It has successfully shut down every legal suit meant to hold officials civilly liable.
Continuing impunity threatens to undermine the universally recognized prohibition on torture and other abusive treatment and sends the dangerous signal to government officials that there will be no consequences for their use of torture and other cruelty. Today's decision not to file charges against individuals who tortured prisoners to death is yet another entry in what is already a shameful record.

Watch Glenn Greenwald talk to Amy Goodman about these issues and more.

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.