On August 28, 2009, Colleen Costello joined Press TV’s American Dream program to talk about the recently released documents CIA documents and Attorney General Eric Holder’s appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate abuses allegedly committed by CIA and private contractor interrogators.
Ms. Costello, an attorney for the Human Rights & Anti-Terrorism Project at Human Rights USA, discussed the violations of U.S. and international law that were documented in the recently-released 2004 CIA Inspector General’s report, which highlighted, among other things, the fact that interrogators had threatened detainees with death and personal injury, and had threatened the rape and murder of detainees’ family members.
“What has been described so far in this recently released version of the Inspector General’s report . . . is really shocking. First of all, threatening a detainee with a power drill, with a gun – it’s unlawful under international and U.S. law. . . . [I]t’s great that the Attorney General is looking to investigate exactly what happened and who is responsible. . . .”
Turning to the Attorney General’s decision to investigate these abuses, Ms. Costello emphasized the need for a full investigation of those responsible for authorizing detainee abuses – something that Human Rights USA has consistently called for over the past several years.
“Americans have a right to know what their government officials are doing in their name and on their behalf. . . . What we’re doing now, we’re looking at maybe a dozen or so interrogators from the CIA and private contractors, and we’re trying to determine whether the abuses they committed exceeded the already very broad limits set by the former administration’s Justice Department. Now, that’s ok, that’s a step, but . . . what we need to do is figure out who was responsible for authorizing even those very broad limits set by the former administration. . . . [I]f you have the former President admitting, and the former Vice President admitting that they authorized the use of waterboarding, . . . that certainly warrants an investigation.”
Watch the full program here: