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Conyers Urges DOJ to Review Waterboarding Ordered by Bush

Congressman John Conyers

For Immediate Release
November 11, 2010
Contact: Nicole Triplett

(Washington)—House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) today issued the following statement urging the U.S. Justice Department to review former President Bush’s order of waterboarding.

It is absolutely vital that a thorough review of President Bush’s now admitted ordering of waterboarding take place. We are a nation of laws, not men and the domestic and international laws – including the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment – governing the use of torture are clear in their scope and application. There is no exception for the president or any other official and no lawyer’s opinion can provide immunity from these laws. I have also urged the Department to reconsider the recent decision not to pursue justice against those responsible for destroying videotape evidence involving water boarding by the CIA. The Justice Department should do its duty here and uphold the law in both of these matters, and if not, Congress needs to act.

Rep. Conyers has led wide ranging inquires into the issue, questioned former Office of Legal Counsel officials John Yoo and Jay Bybee – who issued legal opinions sanctioning waterboarding that were subsequently withdrawn – and introduced a resolution to create a blue ribbon panel to investigate these abuses.  Conyers calls for an inquiry of the Bush Waterboarding Order as it comes on top of similar inquiries sought by Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union.