On Wednesday, April 29, 2009, the Board and Staff of the Equal Justice Society sent the following to the Senate and House Judiciary Committees:
The Equal Justice Society would like to go on record as supporting the call to start a criminal investigation by a special counsel into harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects. We have been shocked by recent revelations of abuses that were committed in our name as Americans. We were shocked to learn that our government used tactics perfected during the Spanish Inquisition and refined by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. As a civil rights organization, we denounced the use of torture during the Bush administration to no avail. Now as a country, we have an opportunity to reclaim our honor.
President Obama addressed this issue tonight in his press conference when he said, “I was struck by an article that I was reading the other day talking about the fact that the British during World War II, when London was being bombed to smithereens, had 200 or so detainees. And Churchill said, “We don’t torture,” when the entire British — all of the British people were being subjected to unimaginable risk and threat.
“And the reason was that Churchill understood — you start taking short-cuts, over time, that corrodes what’s best in a people. It corrodes the character of a country. And so I strongly believed that the steps that we’ve taken to prevent these kinds of enhanced interrogation techniques will make us stronger over the long term and make us safer over the long term because it will put us in a — in a position where we can still get information. “In some cases, it may be harder, but part of what makes us, I think, still a beacon to the world is that we are willing to hold true to our ideals even when it’s hard, not just when it’s easy”
You know of the work of the Equal Justice Society and what we stand for. We want to add our voices to those calling for an accounting. We hope that the legislature will make sure that no one is above the law.