News Release

Will Holder Uphold the Law on Torture?

CHRISTOPHER H. PYLE
Pyle is professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College and author of the new book Getting Away with Torture, about war crimes of the Bush administration. He said today: “By refusing to enforce the laws against torture impartially, President Obama and Attorney General Holder are not only violating their oath of office; they are embracing President Bush’s belief that that CIA operatives may commit crimes with impunity, provided that a government lawyer gives them permission to do so.”

He wrote the op-ed “Obama’s shameful decision on torture,” which states: “President Obama recently endorsed the Bush administration’s larger mission — to turn the American presidency into an elected monarchy. By refusing to enforce the laws against torture, he not only violated his oath of office; he joined George W. Bush in declaring that CIA operatives can commit crimes with impunity, provided that a government lawyer gives them a permission slip.

“In so doing, Obama embraced a new version of the age-old defense of following orders: ‘My lawyer said I could do it.’ Do not try this at home. According to our current president, only Justice Department lawyers can secretly authorize the commission of crimes.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167