The United States once was a global leader in the fight against torture, drafting and signing international treaties that banned inhumane treatment of prisoners. Sadly, the Bush administration disgraced this proud tradition by embracing torture and other harsh measures. While President Obama has banned torture and closed the CIA’s “black site” prisons, he must do more to follow through on his rhetoric and restore America’s position as a champion of human rights.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration has hidden behind the Bush-era “state secrets” claims to prevent Americans from learning what happened in their name and to deny torture victims their day in court. The NYCLU is working to expose the truth about past torture programs and hold those responsible for sanctioning and applying torture accountable for their actions. Torture is illegal and unconstitutional, and those who ordered it should be punished.
With the ACLU, the NYCLU has sued the federal government for access to all documents concerning the treatment and interrogation of detainees held at military bases in the U.S. and abroad. Click here to search the more than 100,000 pages of documents produced by the federal government detailing the torture and abuse of detainees. In September 2009, the NYCLU and ACLU sued the Obama administration for access to records concerning the detention and treatment of prisoners held at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.
Click here to learn more about the ACLU’s anti-torture campaign.