The Great Unravelling is Starting to Roll


Coalition of human rights groups call for panel to probe alleged torture under Bush by John Byrne

The pressure on President Barack Obama to investigate alleged abuses under the presidency of George W. Bush is growing.

On Thursday, a coalition of human rights groups, including an organization at the New York University School of Law, called for Obama to establish a non-partisan independent commission to probe allegations of torture in the wake of wholesale roundup of terror suspects following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


“Independently of the collective statement, CHRGJ supports efforts to immediately begin investigations into criminal conduct alongside other accountability mechanisms, which should include reparations for victims and other measures to restore justice,” the Center said in a release. “As the new administration deals with the legacy of the Bush administration, the Center believes a commission is necessary — but not a substitute — for criminal investigations and prosecution of secret detention, extraordinary rendition, and coercive interrogation practices.”


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  1. that a commission is not an excuse not to investigate criminally.  

  2. I saw this over at DKos this morning:

    High Road’s letter to Congress and President Obama has been sent with thousands of signatures!  by Mayor Rocky Anderson

    High Road’s Letter calling for a Permanent End to Torture and a Restoration of the Rule of Law is on its way to every member of Congress and President Obama.

    During the last few weeks, High Road for Human Rights has collected several thousands of names on our letter to every member of Congress and President Obama calling for a permanent end to torture and a restoration of the rule of law.

    Today we mailed the letter with the names of thousands of American citizens, demanding prompt, meaningful and deliberate changes to American policy.

    Link to Letter

    • Edger on February 19, 2009 at 23:29

    with Obama just passing the buck if he can’t own up to his own campaign statements and asking Holder to appoint a special prosecutor.

    It probably wouldn’t ruin him nearly as bad as Ford pardoning Nixon ruined Ford.

    But maybe he’s got a self-destructive streak in him somewhere, and likes the idea of flipping off coalitions of human rights groups and millions of people and turning them against him?

    After all the work he did organizing to build enough support to get himself elected President maybe he’s decided he doesn’t like the job after all?


  3. The allegations are about the EXTENT of the torture used by the Bush administration.

    There is no reasonable question that the United States tortures people. We did it extensively throughout the eight years of the Bush administration.

    The only aspect that qualifies as “alleged” is the full extent of the criminality.  The fact that torture was policy and widespread, however, is not subject to serious debate.

    The fact that what the media and other apologists and people in Congress refer to as “harsh treatment” is/was and always will be “torture” is not subject to serious debate.

    The fact that the torture committed by the U.S. — and people acting on behalf of the U.S. Gov’t — was/is and always will be criminal behavior is, again, not subject to serious debate.

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