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Obama's torture scorecard

A tortured record

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President Barack Obama has failed to renounce extraordinary rendition of terrorism suspects—and has yet to hold the Bush and his administration accountable for torturing prisoners.

That's the message from N.C. Stop Torture Now, which compiled this scorecard to grade the Obama administration on its efforts to curb human rights violations.

The group's calls for investigations into the role of North Carolina companies in renditions and torture have been stonewalled by state and federal officials, who contend "it's somebody's else's job," says Christina Cowger, spokesperson for N.C. Stop Torture Now.

It plans to ask the state to create a commission that could call witnesses, compile and request public documents and create an official record of what has transpired in North Carolina.

  • Banned the use of torture in interrogations. [read report]
  • Ordered closure of CIA-administered secret prisons. [read report]
  • Ordered release of some torture memos written by previous administration officials. [read report]
  • Failed to keep a commitment to close the Guantánamo prison camp by January 23, 2010.
  • Is weighing a Department of Justice recommendation to continue holding detainees indefinitely, without charge, and with no opportunity to challenge their detention. [read report]
  • Continues to capture and send individuals to a secret prison facility in Afghanistan, refusing the prisoners any right to challenge their detention and blocking the International Committee of the Red Cross from monitoring their condition and treatment. [read report]
  • Opposed or blocked legal actions aimed at gaining release of torture evidence, including a public commitment to release photographs of U.S. personnel engaging in torture of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. [read report]
  • Worked to deny restorative justice to victims and survivors of U.S. torture, by arguing that perpetrators are shielded from civil remedies by the state secrets doctrine. [read report]
  • Has delayed or is now withholding release of internal investigative reports on potential war crimes by former high U.S. government officials. [read report]
  • Ignored Nuremberg precedents regarding the responsibility of policymakers for crimes by lesser officials carrying out their instructions. [read report]
  • Threatened to end intelligence cooperation with Britain if an investigation there into torture of British nationals at Guantánamo and other U.S. facilities proceeds. [read report]
  • Failed to direct an adequate investigation into the death of Guantánamo detainee Mohammed al-Hanashi, an elected leader among the detainees, whom the U.S. military claims killed himself days after finally winning the right to be represented by legal counsel. [read report] [read report]
  • Opposed efforts to establish an independent public commission to investigate charges of torture and war crimes by U.S. officials, intelligence operatives and contractors. [read report]
  • Evaded direct inquiries about the effort to quash war crimes investigations by officials in Spain. [read report]
  • Decided to continue "extraordinary rendition," or sending prisoners to be interrogated in countries where torture has been routine. Many of those flights have been conducted by North Carolina-based planes and pilots (Aero Contractors of Smithfield). [read report]
  • Covered up suspicious deaths of detainees, apparently involving torture, at a secret CIA black site, "Camp No," at Guantánamo, and opposed lawsuit (Al-Zahrani v. Rumsfeld) by family members of detainees who died. [read report] [read report]

Source: N.C. Stop Torture Now

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