January 28, 2009, New York – In response to reports of a possible promise by Attorney General Nominee Eric Holder to senior Republican members of Congress that he would not prosecute Bush Administration officials involved in torture, Center for Constitutional Rights Executive Director Vincent Warren issued the following statement:
If true, Holder’s promise not to prosecute Bush administration officials for torture is deeply disturbing.
It is the job of the Attorney General to prosecute crimes where they are committed, not to judge whether it is politically expedient to do so.
As a nation, we have to be able to look squarely at the torture program and hold the individuals responsible accountable. The only way to deter future descent into torture and lawlessness is to send a clear and unequivocal message through prosecution to those who would break the law and to the international community.
CCR has led the legal battle over Guantanamo for the last six years – sending the first ever habeas attorney to the base and sending the first attorney to meet with a former CIA “ghost detainee.” CCR has been responsible for organizing and coordinating more than 500 pro bono lawyers across the country in order to represent the men at Guantanamo, ensuring that nearly all have the option of legal representation. CCR represented the detainees with co-counsel in the most recent argument before the Supreme Court on December 5, 2007.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. Visit CCR's website.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.