Friday, November 17, 2006

Dem judiciary leader seeks torture documents

In a letter addressed to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, soon to be chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has requested the release of documents that outline the Bush Administration's interrogation policies.

The documents, which have long been thought to exist by observers and critics of America's national security policies, were confirmed to exist as the result of a still-pending Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the ACLU.

One of those documents is believed to be a companion piece to the now-infamous August 2002 memorandum which redefined torture and, as a result, broadened the range of interrogation tactics permitted in the field.

The companion document, the so-called “Yoo Two” document (named after legal counsel John Yoo,) is believed to contain a list of actual techniques that have been approved by the Department of Justice—and which therefore are legally protected interrogation methods used by intelligence operatives against suspected terrorists.

A press release issued today contends that Leahy "had previously requested all documents relating to the treatment of detainees from the Department of Justice, the FBI, the CIA and the Department of Defense."

Those requests have turned up numerous controversial memos and reports detailing the handling of so-called enemy combatants by U.S. soldiers and intelligence officials, but the now-uncovered documents were never included.

According to the ACLU, the documents specify “interrogation methods that the CIA may use against top al-Qaeda members.”

Last November, a news report surfaced detailing six so-called enhanced interrogation techniques. What remains unclear, and what the documents requested by Leahy might reveal, is what among these techniques are legal in the eyes of the justice department.

“The American people and their representatives in Congress," Leahy insists, "are entitled to know the truth about the Bush Administration’s interrogation policies and practices that have engendered criticism at home, contributed so negatively to the image of the United States around the world and served to undercut our efforts against terrorism,”

The full text of the letter, as obtained by RAW STORY, appears below.

Click for more

No comments: