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Bettina B. Plevan, president of the New York City Bar Association, points out the fundamental flaw of the Bush administration's approach to torture policy:  "The same people who started this program are the ones who oversee the investigation of its results."  --  United for Peace of Pierce County agrees with her recommendation:  "Congress should establish a commission similar in concept to the 9/11 commission to expose not only those who torture but also those who set in motion, and continue to pursue, a torture policy that has so undercut our world standing."  --  A delegation from UFPPC will be meeting with Rep. Adam Smith's office this Tuesday to press this point....

Editorials/Op-Ed

Letters

COMMISSION NEEDED ON TORTURE POLICY
By Bettina B. Plevan

New York Times
October 30, 2005
Section 4, Page 14

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/30/opinion/l30cia.html

To the Editor:

The report that no charges will be brought against C.I.A. personnel involved in the abuse and death of detainees under their control ("C.I.A. Is Likely to Avoid Charges in Most Prisoner Deaths," news article, Oct. 23) further underscores the importance of establishing an independent commission to examine the formulation and implementation of United States policy toward detainees.

This executive branch has repeatedly demonstrated that it cannot conduct such an inquiry. Several investigations have been begun, but their central failing is that they have not investigated the top officials responsible.

There is ample evidence that the administration has sought to permit the torture and abuse of detainees captured in Iraq, Afghanistan and anywhere in the world in connection with the "war on terror," from legal memorandums orchestrated in the White House to instructions passed from high levels of the Defense Department.

But the same people who started this program are the ones who oversee the investigation of its results.

Congress should establish a commission similar in concept to the 9/11 commission to expose not only those who torture but also those who set in motion, and continue to pursue, a torture policy that has so undercut our world standing.

Bettina B. Plevan
President
New York City Bar Association
New York, Oct. 24, 2005