May 13, 2009

CARDIN: OBAMA ADMINISTRATION CONTINUES TO CORRECT BUSH-ERA PRACTICES RELATED TO TORTURE AND INTERROGATION OF TERROR SUSPECTS

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Judiciary Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee, today reiterated his praise for the Obama Administration release of Bush-era opinions from the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel regarding interrogation techniques used on terror suspects. Senator Cardin's remarks came in response to a hearing of the Administrative Oversight and the Courts Subcommittee hearing entitled, "What Went Wrong: Torture and the Office of Legal Counsel in the Bush Administration."

"Today's hearing provides a powerful illustration of how the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in the Bush Administration's Justice Department got it wrong when it came to torture.  Torture is illegal, hurts our efforts to build a coalition to defeat terrorism around the world, and is not an effective method for obtaining reliable information," said Senator Cardin.

"I commend President Obama and Attorney General Holder for releasing these opinions from the Office of Legal Counsel.  I am pleased that after reviewing the opinions and the interrogation techniques described, the OLC has decided to withdraw them, and has made absolutely clear that our government does not condone torture.  Attorney General Holder and President Obama have taken an important step in restoring the rule of law."