At last night’s press conference marking 100 days in office, President Obama said that over time a “short-cut” like torture “corrodes the character of a country.” And he has gotten a start on rebuilding U.S. character with his executive orders. But another important step still has not been taken to ensure these abusive policies end permanently. If the Obama administration does not uphold the law by investigating and if necessary, prosecuting torture, it will be taking its own damaging “short-cut” and undermining U.S. laws.
Amnesty International activists dressed in Guantanamo-like jumpsuits marched from the U.S. Capitol to the White House today to urge the Obama administration to hold accountable those who sanctioned and carried out torture and other inhumane counterterrorism policies. The ACLU, Witness Against Torture and the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition partnered in the event.
Activists made their point loud and clear: accountability for torture is not petty “retribution.” It’s enforcing U.S. laws. Looking forward to the next 100 days, the Obama administration must ask itself what kind of country it wants to lead–one characterized by impunity or by justice? If you are for justice, take action with us by demanding an independent investigation into torture.