For Immediate Release: February 7, 2008
Statement from Kevin Lanigan, director of Human Rights First’s Law and Security Program:
This week the White House and the CIA astonishingly admitted they broke the law by directing agents to torture detainees.
The White House, in fact, not only says it broke the law, officials proclaim that they reserve the right to again authorize Americans to commit war crimes.
The U.S. Attorney General’s key responsibility is to uphold the law, yet in testimony today he says that he will not do so.
In fact, Attorney General Michael Mukasey provides no assurances that the United States will abide by our own laws and international treaties. As he asks Congress and the American people to trust him, the White House and the CIA director lay out strategies and plans to authorize future torture.
This is not only about three detainees the CIA has admitted waterboarding, or even some 100 detainees it admits subjecting to a broad range of cruel and abusive interrogation techniques.
CIA agents and contractors deployed to the field in both Afghanistan and Iraq are regularly involved in the interrogation of many hundreds if not thousands of detainees.
Congress must step up to protect American troops, to uphold U.S. law and to enforce our treaty obligations by passing legislation to extend the provisions of the Army Field Manual to the CIA.