The Constitution Project, a nonpartisan organization led by former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR), who served as undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security under the Bush administration, said in a newly-released 577-page report that President Bush and his administration knowingly ordered torture, reports the New York Times.
“After conducting our own two-year investigation, weighing the credibility of all sources and studying the current public record, we have come to the regrettable, but unavoidable, conclusion that the United States did indeed engage in conduct that is clearly torture,” Hutchinson said in a press release.
“What sets the United States apart as a world leader, in addition to our military might, are our values and respect for the rule of law. All the available evidence led us to conclude that, for many of these detainees, the U.S. violated both international law and treaties and our own laws, greatly diminishing America’s ability to forge important alliances around the world,” added former Rep. James R. Jones (D-OK).
“This has not been an easy inquiry for me, because I know many of the players,” Hutchinson told the New York Times. “But I just think we learn from history. It’s incredibly important to have an accurate account not just of what happened but of how decisions were made.”
“We went to a lot of trouble to find out what we could do, how far we could go, what was legal and so forth,” former Vice President Dick Cheney said in 2011, according to DailyCaller.com. “Out of that emerged what we called enhanced interrogation. It worked. It provided some absolutely vital pieces of intelligence. It was a good program. It was a legal program. It was not torture. I would strongly recommend we continue it.”
The Obama administration has refused to prosecute anyone from the Bush administration who ordered or performed torture.
President Reagan signed the United Nations Convention Against Torture in 1988.