Dear ACLU Supporter,
For five long years, the ACLU has been fighting to unearth government documents that would show the origins and scope of the Bush administration’s torture program.
In two weeks, we may finally get some of the crucial documents we’ve been asking for.
As a result of a critical ACLU Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the Justice Department agreed on Thursday to consider an April 16th public release of key memos that authorized the CIA to torture detainees.
As we move closer and closer to the truth, it is essential that you and other ACLU supporters reinforce the demand that those responsible for illegally authorizing torture are held accountable.
There are still crucial sets of memos that must be revealed, including the infamous Bybee and Bradbury memos.
The first, written in August 2002 by the head of the Bush administration’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), Jay S. Bybee, was the cornerstone of the CIA torture program.
The second set of memos, written by OLC lawyer Steven Bradbury in May of 2005, authorized the CIA to subject prisoners to torture methods including waterboarding. They were written in anticipation of Congress’s decision to make it clear that laws against cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment applied to the CIA.
Collectively, these memos supplied the framework for an interrogation program that permitted the most barbaric forms of abuse, violated domestic and international law, alienated America’s allies and yielded information that was both unreliable and unusable in court.
Using national security as a pretext, the Bush administration managed to suppress these memos for years. If these memos are released on April 16, it will be due to your consistent support of the ACLU. And the facts revealed in these memos will only heighten the demand for a thorough criminal investigation.
A special prosecutor can follow the facts wherever they may lead — from Justice Department memos to White House torture meetings to secret government torture cells around the globe.
No one is above the law. And if we want to restore our country to an America we can be proud of again, we must know the truth about what our government did in our name.
Thank you for supporting the ACLU as we continue to drive towards the truth and for joining us in the next step — demanding accountability.
Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director