More Than 250,000 People Demand Accountability For Torture

Attorney General Eric Holder heard the voices of more than a quarter million Americans who called on him to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate torture and detainee abuse.

ACLU activists and members of the Stop Torture Now coalition delivered more than 250,000 petition signatures to the Attorney General during a Justice Department budget hearing on Capitol Hill. The pressure from concerned citizens like you on members of Congress made sure Holder was asked tough questions about the recently released torture memos and his plan to seek accountability.

Appropriations Committee Chair, Rep. David Obey (D-Wisc.), opened the hearing stating that the recently-released memos definitely described torture. The ACLU staff present at the hearing knew right then and there that all our hard work to deliver the petitions had paid off. As the hearing continued, member after member sought the Attorney General's view on the issue of prosecutions and asked for his thoughts on what actions to take.

At one point, Holder said, "It is my responsibility as the Attorney General to enforce the law. If I see wrongdoing, I will pursue it to the full extent of the law."

That's encouraging news -- especially since Holder said unequivocally that waterboarding was torture during his confirmation hearing. But we all know the political realities of getting there.

There's still a lot of work to be done to hold accountable those who authorized and implemented Bush's illegal torture program. You can be sure the ACLU will continue to keep you informed on the next steps and how you can continue to take action.