Monday, August 10, 2009

ACLU Releases "Tortured Logic" Video

The ACLU has released a video of various entertainers reading one of the "torture memos" that was authored by Jay Bybee. (h/t Valtin) From the ACLU's YouTube page:

ACLU video shows prominent figures like Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone and a 9/11 family member reading from one of the infamous Bush administration legal memos used to justify the use of torture against detainees in U.S. custody. The video calls for accountability and the restoration of the rule of law.

The video includes appearances by Oliver Stone, 9/11 family member Patricia Perry, actors Rosie Perez, Noah Emmerich, John Doman and Reg E. Cathey, and musical composer Philip Glass, among others, reading directly from a memo authored by Jay Bybee, former head of the Justice Departments Office of Legal Counsel under the Bush administration. The memo was released in April as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the ACLU.

This video comes as Attorney General Eric Holder appears poised to launch an investigation into CIA interrogation abuses. Though this is being touted by some as a step forward in trying to hold torturers to account, the Chicago Tribune reports:

A senior Justice Department official said the probe Holder envisions would be "narrow" in scope, focusing on "whether people went beyond the techniques that were authorized" in Bush administration memos known for their extreme interpretations of anti-torture laws.

This so-called "investigation" will likely accomplish little and may not even result in criminal prosecutions. These investigations will also do nothing in examining those who authorized the torture policies or the Bush Administration officials who pushed for such policies despite any legal ramifications. Holder, and the Obama Administration, continue to turn a blind eye to abuses of the law by members of the previous administration which leave this country open to repeating the same abuses due to the lack of consequences for law-breaking. The ACLU's video is below:

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