RAC backs prosecutor on CIA interrogations
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RAC backs prosecutor on CIA interrogations

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is praising the appointment of a federal prosecutor to investigate possible abuse of detainees by CIA interrogators.

"We are hopeful that this preliminary investigation will prove to be an important step toward shedding new light on how these abuses came to be, creating greater transparency and accountability in our government’s actions, and preventing future acts of abuse," said RAC associate director Mark Pelavin. "There is no question that in the aftermath of 9/11, the security challenges faced by the U.S. were significant and continue to challenge our nation in unprecedented ways.  Yet as we seek to thwart those who wish us harm, we must not abandon the values and ideals that have been the hallmarks of our nation’s greatness. In that spirit, the abuse of prisoners, including acts which could be construed as torture, is morally repugnant and wholly unacceptable."

The RAC also criticized the Obama administration’s continuation of the policy of extraordinary rendition, in which the U.S. turns over detainees to other nations for questioning.

"Though the Administration has assured the American public that these detainees will not be subjected to torture, relinquishing control to foreign nations vastly diminishes our government’s ability to ensure they receive proper treatment," said Pelavin.

The RAC’s full statement is after the jump: [[READMORE]]

In response to yesterday’s announcement that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. plans to appoint a federal prosecutor to examine cases in which CIA interrogators may have violated anti-torture laws, Mark Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center, issued the following statement:

We welcome the news that Attorney General Holder has appointed a federal prosecutor specifically to investigate cases in which CIA employees and contractors may have abused detainees, largely from Iraq and Afghanistan. We are hopeful that this preliminary investigation will prove to be an important step toward shedding new light on how these abuses came to be, creating greater transparency and accountability in our government’s actions, and preventing future acts of abuse.

There is no question that in the aftermath of 9/11, the security challenges faced by the U.S. were significant and continue to challenge our nation in unprecedented ways.  Yet as we seek to thwart those who wish us harm, we must not abandon the values and ideals that have been the hallmarks of our nation’s greatness. In that spirit, the abuse of prisoners, including acts which could be construed as torture, is morally repugnant and wholly unacceptable.

We also note with concern the Administration’s refusal to rule out the practice of extraordinary rendition, whereby detainees in our custody are turned over to other nations for questioning.  History has shown that the use of rendition results in the application of information-gathering techniques that are abhorrent and defile humanity.  Though the Administration has assured the American public that these detainees will not be subjected to torture, relinquishing control to foreign nations vastly diminishes our government’s ability to ensure they receive proper treatment.