Sunday, April 27, 2008

ACLU Demands Immediate Release of Inspector General Report on FBI's Role in Illegal Interrogations

ACLU Demands Immediate Release of Inspector General Report on FBI's Role in Illegal Interrogations

On the heels of President Bush directly admitting that the White House was deeply and intimately involved in decisions about the CIA’s use of torture, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request this week with the Departments of Justice and Defense for the release of a report on a long-running investigation of the FBI's role in the unlawful interrogations of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay.

The Justice Department's Office of Inspector General (OIG) launched the investigation after internal government documents - uncovered by an ACLU lawsuit - revealed that FBI agents stationed at Guantánamo Bay expressed concern after witnessing military interrogators' use of brutal interrogation techniques.

According to recent media reports, the OIG investigation has been completed for months. The Defense Department, however, has blocked the OIG from releasing it, claiming that the report still needs to be reviewed and redacted by the Pentagon.

The OIG investigation was initiated in 2005 after the ACLU obtained documents in which FBI agents described interrogations that they had witnessed at Guantánamo Bay.

While the documents were most notable for their description of illegal interrogation methods used by military interrogators, they also raised serious questions about the FBI's participation in abusive interrogations, the actions of FBI personnel who witnessed abusive interrogations, and the response of FBI officials to reports of abuse.

The OIG report and all documents related to this investigation is part of a broader ACLU effort to uncover information about the Bush administration's torture policies. To date, more than 100,000 pages of government documents have been released in response to the ACLU's FOIA lawsuit enforcing the request - including the Bush administration's 2003 "torture memo" written by John Yoo when he was a deputy at the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel.

>> Read the documents received in the ACLU's FOIA litigation.

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