OPR Report Furthers the Call for Commission of Inquiry

Commission is needed in order to fully understand all that occurred in our nation’s past

CONTACT: Matthew Allee, (202) 580-6922 or mallee@constitutionproject.org

WASHINGTON – Late today, the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) released its long-anticipated report on the conduct of Bush administration lawyers in providing the legal rationale for harsh interrogation tactics used by government personnel against suspected terrorists detained by the United States.

The report found that the Justice Department lawyers, Jay Bybee and John Yoo, showed “poor judgment,” but did not go so far as to commit professional misconduct in authoring the Office of Legal Counsel memos. Tonight’s report is further justification for the establishment of an official government commission of inquiry to fully disclose all that happened in the name of the Unites States.

In August 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate nearly a dozen cases in which CIA interrogators and contractors may have violated anti-torture laws and other statutes by their alleged treatment of suspected terrorists held by the United States.

“The OPR report furthers the call for a comprehensive and nonpartisan commission of inquiry into past deviations from the rule of law,” said Laura Olson, Constitution Project Senior Counsel. “President Obama pledged adherence to our constitutional principles, but for our nation to properly move forward, and for our citizens to be able to hold our leaders accountable, we must know all of the policies that were implemented in our name. Only with a full understanding can we ensure that policies allowing abusive and illegal treatment will stay in our nation’s past.”

In April 2009, the Constitution Project joined a coalition of 18 other advocacy organizations in a campaign to urge President Obama to appoint an independent commission to investigate the treatment of people detained since September 11, 2001 by the United States or at the direction of the United States as part of antiterrorism or counterterrorism activities.

To see more on the campaign effort, go to: http://www.commissiononaccountability.org/

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