Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ant-Torture Campaign: Day Two

The Honorable Loretta Lynch
Attorney General of the United States
US Department of Justice 

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 
Washington, DC 20530-0001 
Subject: Reading the Senate Torture Report 
Dear Attorney General Lynch: 
The America we believe in does not torture. Yet for years, those who ordered and committed torture, enforced disappearance and other human rights violations in the CIA’s secret detention program have enjoyed impunity. That makes a mockery of the U.S. justice system. 
Recently, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released to the public a summary of its 6,700 page report on these matters, known as the “Senate torture report.” It contains information about potential violations of federal and international law. 
But shockingly, the Justice Department has failed to commit to reading and reviewing the full report. In litigation the Justice Department has even said that its copies of the full report remain unread, in a sealed envelope.1 Presumably, no one at the Justice Department has even begun to read the full report—let alone take any action on any information it contains on human rights violations, including the crimes under international law of torture and enforced disappearance. 
That’s why, along with this letter, we are sending you a page, during each of the next ten days, for a total of 10 different pages of the de-classified report summary. 
Reading the report is just one step. The Department of Justice must also re-open and expand its investigations into all CIA interrogations, detentions and renditions. It must bring to justice in fair trials all the persons, regardless of their level of office or former level of office, suspected of being involved in the commission of crimes under international law, such as torture and enforced disappearance. 

Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim, member AI Group 128
Amherst MA 
1 See Declaration of Peter J. Kadzik, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legislative Affairs, U.S. Department of Justice, ACLU v. CIA, Case 1:13--cv--01870 (filed January 21, 2015, D.D.C.). We are concerned that the Justice Department and other agencies are not opening the full report due to a cynical and hyper-technical effort to circumvent U.S. open records law (the Freedom of Information Act) and prevent the release of the full report to the public.

From Page 10 of the Torture Report:

#3: The interrogations of CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the CIA represented to policymakers and others.

Beginning with the CIA's first detainee, Abu Zubaydah, and continuing with numerous others,
the CIA applied its enhanced interrogation techniques with significant repetition for days or
weeks at a time. Interrogation techniques such as slaps and "wallings" (slamming detainees
against a wall) were used in combination, frequently concurrent with sleep deprivation and
nudity. Records do not support CIA representations that the CIA initially used an "an open, non-

threatening approach,"^ or that interrogations began with the "least coercive technique possible"^
and escalated to more coercive techniques only as necessary.

The waterboarding technique was physically harmful, inducing convulsions and vomiting. Abu
Zubaydah, for example, became "completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open,
full mouth.'"^ Internal CIA records describe the waterboarding of Khalid Shaykh Mohammad as

evolving into a "series of near drownings."^
Sleep deprivation involved keeping detainees awake for up to 180 hours, usually standing or in
stress positions, at times with their hands shackled above their heads. At least five detainees
experienced disturbing hallucinations during prolonged sleep deprivation and, in at least two of
those cases, the CIA nonetheless continued the sleep deprivation.

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