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Conyers: Appalled by Bush Torture Admission and DOJ Failure to Prosecute; Congressional Investigation to Continue

Congressman John Conyers

For Immediate Release
November 10, 2010
Contact: Nicole Triplett

(Washington)—House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Justice Department’s decision not to bring charges related to the destruction of CIA videotapes.

Anyone who believes in human rights and the rule of law must be outraged by the events of this week. First, we had the spectacle of a former president of our country proudly admitting that he ordered waterboarding and other brutal abuse of U.S. detainees — conduct that all civilized nations consider torture and which the U.S. never condoned until John Yoo arrived at the Justice Department. Now, we have federal prosecutors rejecting charges for the intentional destruction of video evidence of those same interrogations, despite court orders that apparently called for them to be preserved.

We simply do not live in a nation of laws if high ranking officials are never held to account for their misdeeds. I know that the Justice Department continues to investigate certain aspects of the Bush administration's torture program, including the possibility of a cover up or false statements to investigation officials. And I urge them to continue to give this matter their utmost attention.

At the same time, this matter is too important to leave to any one branch and I will therefore continue congressional review of both the destruction of these videotapes and the brutal interrogations that they contained.