Obama torture policies slammed by critics on both sides
The president's decision not to prosecute CIA agents for torture is being criticized by right advocates.
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Last week, Mr. Obama released four memos outlining the interrogation techniques permitted by the Bush administration – including covering detainees with insects, slapping, waterboarding, and sleep deprivation. While the president has put an end to these practices, he says, the US will not prosecute CIA agents who trusted the legal opinions of the Bush administration.
Mr. Nowak says Obama's stance on torture is a "mitigating factor," but that it does not remove guilt from those who tortured detainees, reports the BBC. Nowak has called for an independent investigation and advocates compensating victims.
"The United States, like all other states that are part of the UN convention against torture, is committed to conducting criminal investigations of torture and to bringing all persons against whom there is sound evidence to court," Nowak told the Austrian daily Der Standard. ...
"The fact that you carried out an order doesn't relieve you of your responsibility," he was quoted as saying by AP news agency.
To avoid sending CIA operatives to jail, Nowak suggested that Obama could issue an amnesty law and still conduct trials for torture suspects as something of a symbolic gesture, reports Deutsche Presse-Agentur, a German news agency. Still, this may be unlikely as Obama has said that "nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past."