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It's Time for Holder to Go After the Big Fish
Organizations Unite, Demand: Top Bush Officials Must Be Prosecuted

Bush from Times
These criminals should not be walking free.
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A large coalition of human rights organizations and prominent lawyers sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder last week urging him to hold firm against pressure from Dick Cheney and others to narrow the scope of a Special Prosecutor investigating Bush-era crimes.

With each passing day the crimes committed by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are being revealed. IndictBushNow and thousands of people throughout the country are taking to the streets, lobbying Congress, mass petitioning, issuing sign-on letters and taking out newspaper ads to demand that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld – and not just low level operatives – be held accountable for their criminal acts.

Please do your part by making an urgently needed financial contribution. This movement is growing. People from all walks of life are acting together. We urgently need your help. Make a donation now.

IndictBushNow supporters and volunteers are active mobilizing support for a serious prosecution of Bush and Cheney. The coalition that sent a letter to Holder includes the American Association of Jurists, Center for Constitutional Rights, National Lawyers Guild, U.S. Human Rights Network and more than sixty others.



Open Letter to Attorney General Holder

We, the undersigned, are writing to request that you hold firm against any attempts by former Vice President Dick Cheney, the CIA directors, and the media to silence those who demand that the United States hold accountable those who have committed and authorized torture.

We call on you to appoint a special independent prosecutor who is not part of the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute all those who ordered, approved, justified, abetted or carried out the torture and abuse. The people who are held accountable should not be limited to low-level operatives.

We are particularly disturbed by the efforts of the reporters at the Washington Post to distort the facts and ignore the illegality of torture. They cited anonymous sources who allegedly said that torture works; these “reports” contradict the newly released report of the CIA’s Inspector General.

Cheney’s claim that your decision to open an investigation into the conduct of the CIA is a politicization of this issue is shameful. If anything, political pressure has led to your office taking too narrow an approach to the investigation.

The world community has expressed its revulsion at the use of torture in any form. Torture is illegal under all circumstances. The prohibition against torture is considered in international law on par with laws against genocide, slavery and wars of aggression. Under the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court, it is a crime against humanity.

The United States is a party to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the Geneva Conventions. Both treaties expressly require the United States to either extradite or initiate prosecution of persons who are reasonably accused – this is a legal obligation. The U.S. Torture Statute that Congress passed to fulfill our obligations under the CAT outlaws torture committed outside the United States. The U.S. War Crimes Act punishes torture as a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions. In 2006, the Supreme Court affirmed in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that all prisoners in U.S. custody are protected by the Geneva Conventions.

There are many who claim we should ignore the facts and the law and refuse to hold accountable all those responsible for the use of torture. Whether actionable intelligence was gained is not the issue. Nor is the morale in the CIA.

We believe the oath of office you took requires that you not pick and choose those laws you will enforce.



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Updates
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