Torture Reports Update

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Torture opponents are hoping to see two reports—one by the CIA’s inspector general, and one by the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility—sometime soon. On Wednesday, there was good news and bad news for those calling for transparency on torture. The bad news, via the Washington Post, is that the CIA is (shocker!) opposing the release of the full IG report. Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project, issued a response to that story Wednesday afternoon:

It’s not surprising that the CIA is fighting for the suppression of documents that would provide further evidence that its torture program was both ineffective and illegal. Over the last few weeks, the agency has also suppressed cables relating to illegal interrogation methods and transcripts in which prisoners explain the torture that was inflicted upon them in the CIA’s secret prisons. President Obama should not allow the CIA to determine whether evidence of its own unlawful conduct should be made available to the public. The president has rightly recognized the importance of restoring the rule of law at home and the moral authority of the United States abroad, but neither of those things will be possible as long as the CIA is permitted to conceal evidence of its crimes. The public has a right to know what took place in the CIA’s secret prisons, and on whose authority.

The good news is that the Justice Department’s OPR report is on its way out, perhaps without too many redactions. Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate judiciary committee today that his “hope” is “to share as much of that report as I can with members of Congress and the public,” and he “wouldn’t want to put an incomplete report in the public.” He promised to release the report within “a matter of weeks.”

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