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Torture: Looking Forward By Cleaning Up The Past

President Obama did an amazingly important thing by releasing the torture memos. In his statement, he made a commitment not to prosecute those who were following the law that these memos established — but he was silent on the subject of the lawyers who wrote the laws, and those in the administration who ordered them to do so.

In making the memos public, Obama gave the public everything we need to demand that they be investigated. The evidence is harrowing, and it’s clear that these people were wantonly transgressing the law. It’s our obligation as citizens to take it from here, and to create the climate for doing what needs to be done. The media doesn’t want to use the word "torture" — but it’s instantly obvious to anyone who reads these memos that it was torture by any rational standard.

We’re working with Glenn Greenwald to organize right now, and here are the efforts we’ll be whipping support for next week:

Jan Schakowsky is talking with the Justice Department, and asking that contractors not get the same immunity as CIA officials. She’s specifically talking about James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen who developed the torture program.

Jerold Nadler, Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, is calling for a special prosecutor: "We must have a criminal investigation if the U.S. is to reclaim its moral authority and prevent repetition of these crimes.

DDay and other California bloggers are pushing for a resolution at the upcoming California Democratic Party Convention calling for the impeachment of Jay "Insect Memo" Bybee, who is still sitting on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

We’re also communicating with other organizations and coordinating a consolidated campaign to push for an investigation, and we’ll be delivering signatures to the Justice Department calling for a special prosecutor (you can add yours here). If anyone has good online communications skills and some spare time and is interested in helping with these efforts, drop me a line.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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