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Nico Pitney

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Nico Pitney

The Huffington Post

Congressional Democrats Want Secret Torture Memos

October 4, 2007 11:21 AM


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House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) and subcommittee chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) just released a letter demanding that the newly-revealed secret opinions authorizing torture "be provided immediately to the Judiciary Committee, and that Steven Bradbury, the acting head of the Office of Legal Counsel and the apparent author of the opinions, be made available for prompt Committee hearings."

Their letter is below the fold:

October 4, 2007

The Honorable Peter D. Keisler

Acting Attorney General

United States Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington DC, 20530

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

We are writing about disturbing revelations in today's New York Times story, "Secret U.S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations." According to the article, the Department of Justice has issued two secret legal opinions since 2005 that have explicitly authorized the use of "painful physical and psychological tactics" on terrorism suspects, including one secret opinion that an anti-torture law passed by Congress did not prohibit such techniques. Both the alleged content of these opinions and the fact that they have been kept secret from Congress are extremely troubling, especially in light of the Department's 2004 withdrawal of an earlier opinion similarly approving such methods. We request that both these opinions be provided immediately to the Judiciary Committee, and that Steven Bradbury, the acting head of the Office of Legal Counsel and the apparent author of the opinions, be made available for prompt Committee hearings.

Please direct any questions to the staff at the House Judiciary Committee, 2138 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 (tel: 202-225-3951; fax: 202-225-7680). Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

____________________________________

John Conyers, Jr.

Chairman

____________________________________

Jerrold Nadler

Chairman, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

cc: Hon. Lamar S. Smith

Hon. Trent Franks

Hon. Brian Benczkowski