“It’s time for Congress to act to end torture and cruel treatment of detainees by American officials,” Maureen Byrnes, Executive Director Human Rights First said today.
“Although the Senate voted to confirm Judge Michael Mukasey as Attorney General, the work to effectively end the policy of official cruelty is far from over. Faced with an administration that refuses to take “no” for an answer on torture, Congress must now legislate to ensure that the CIA complies with the laws against torture and cruel treatment, and conduct vigorous oversight of the Department of Justice, including demanding access to the legal guidance interpreting these laws.
Congress is now considering legislation, consistent with the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hamdan case last year, that would apply the interrogation rules contained in the U.S. Army Field Manual, which sets clear standards for the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody, to all American officials. We urge all members of Congress, and especially those Senators who voted to confirm Judge Mukasey while stating their opposition to torture and official cruelty, to support this legislation.
Above all else, America’s top law enforcement officer must uphold the laws of the United States, including those that clearly prohibit the use of torture and cruel treatment.”