I'm really delighted to have Christopher Anders with us today to live chat on what was revealed in the CIA torture memos, and what are the next steps to take now that we have these important memos: accountability efforts on the Hill, both for a select committee and an independent prosecutor. And just last night The Senate Armed Services Committee released their report:
Late last night, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) released its full report on the Department of Defense’s (DOD) role in the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody (PDF). (A summary of the report was released last December, but it was only until last night that the full report was released after the government declassified it.)
Christopher Anders is senior legislative counsel in the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington Legislative Office, where he represents the ACLU before Congress and the Executive Branch. His initial response to the SASC report was:
This report makes frighteningly clear that some of the darkest moments in our country’s recent past were choreographed at the highest levels of government… The people who were at the very top of the Bush administration and those at the top of the chain of command must be held accountable. Just as any other American would be investigated by a prosecutor for crimes committed, so must our government officials. We must ensure that our laws are impartially enforced against everyone.
Since joining the ACLU legislative team in 1997, Anders has represented the ACLU on a wide range of civil liberties and civil rights issues. For the past five years, Anders has led the ACLU’s legislative work on torture, detention, and Guantanamo issues. He also has served as a human rights observer at military commission proceedings held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
So please welcome Chris Anders to the pages of C&L.