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Calls To ’Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses’

Dec. 22, 2014 (EIRNS)—Under a large picture of Dick Cheney, the Editorial Board of the New York Times published a biting editorial demand that President Obama act to ensure that those responsible for the depraved and abhorrent acts of torture carried out in the name of fighting terrorism be investigated and prosecuted, in its Monday, Dec. 22 edition.

Lest the Obama administration, which, as the Times notes, has "failed to bring to justice anyone responsible for the torture," fail to go after the highest levels of those responsible for the program, the Times names the names, of those who must, minimally, be brought to justice:

"Any credible investigation should include former Vice President Dick Cheney; Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington; the former CIA director George Tenet; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the Office of Legal Counsel lawyers who drafted what became known as the torture memos. There are many more names that could be considered, including Jose Rodriguez Jr., the CIA official who ordered the destruction of the videotapes; the psychologists who devised the torture regimen; and the CIA employees who carried out that regimen."

The same day, the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch issued a call for outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint, before he leaves office, a special prosecutor to investigate the crimes detailed in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s torture program. The Times endorsed that call in its editorial.

The two organizations sent a letter to Holder, specifying that because the released summary of the Senate report contains "significant new information" on the crimes of "torture, homicide, conspiracy and sexual assault," a special prosecutor must carry out a full criminal investigation "of the conduct described in the report, including all acts authorizing or ordering that conduct." The prosecutor must be independent, and given access not only to the full 6,700 page Senate torture report, but to the more than six million pages of documents upon which the report was based, they specify.

"The necessity of investigating issues of criminal liability is made more urgent by the fact that many of the individuals who authorized the conduct documented in the Senate torture report are publicly defending the necessity, effectiveness, and legality of that conduct,"

the letter pointedly states.