WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Senate amendment prohibiting the use of torture by US officials will remain ineffective if those responsible for torture abuses are not held accountable, Habeas attorney for Guantanamo Bay detainees Stephen Truitt told Sputnik on Wednesday.
“No law will cure the unwillingness of the executive to prosecute torturers,” Truitt stated. “Until there is such a will to apply the law, whether a prior law or newly enacted law, there will be no responsibility for the conduct.”
Truitt, who is principally responsible for one Guantanamo Bay prisoner and is assisting in three other habeas corpus cases, argued that lack of willingness to hold those accountable for using torture techniques will extend the “free pass” regime.
“Obama’s decision not to prosecute for past torture but to ban future torture only, insures the same evils will be engaged in again,” he said.
Truitt stated the need for an amendment prohibiting torture is somewhat unclear because torture is already prohibited by US federal criminal law.
Signatories to the Convention Against Torture, including the United States, “are required to investigate allegations of torture and prosecute them,” he noted.
In 2009, Obama issued an Executive Order banning the euphemistically called “enhanced interrogation,” or torture, techniques.
In December 2014, the US Senate released a report outlining the use of torture by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The practices employed by the CIA against enemy combatants and detainees included waterboarding, questionable medical procedures and other methods that are not defined in the US Army Field Manual.