The Justice Department’s decision Tuesday not to re-open a criminal investigation into the CIA’s treatment of detainees immediately prompted a renewed debate about how those responsible for the torture of 9/11 suspects should be held accountable.
While some civil rights advocates and legal analysts said the grim disclosure of abuses — water-boarding, extreme sleep deprivation and others — outlined by the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report offered new evidence of criminal acts that should be prosecuted, others suggested that new laws may be the only salve to a system that allowed the brutal interrogations.
“The true test of our nation’s character comes now,” said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice. “Will we make excuses and try to defend the indefensible? Or will we finally acknowledge that our nation crossed a terrible line, and start talking about accountability?”
Goitein said the most “realistic” path toward that accountability, given Justice’s decision not to renew its criminal inquiry, is to rid the government of a structure that permitted such a program.
Source: USA Today |