Accounting for Torture,

If not actual Justice, it at least seems just.

A Campaign

Torture is illegal under both United States and international law. The Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment, and it states that treaties signed by the U.S. are the “supreme Law of the Land” under Article Six. The Geneva Convention and The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment both prohibit torture and have been signed by the United States. These laws provide no exception for torture under any circumstances. Moreover, the United States Criminal Code prohibits both torture and war crimes, the latter which includes torture. The Army Field Manual prohibits the use of degrading treatment of detainees.

Despite this well-established law, under the Bush administration, torture was authorized by George Bush and kept secret using classified designations. The White House requested legal memoranda to support its use of torture and it received those authored by a host of attorneys, including John Yoo, Jay Bybee, and Stephen Bradbury. Attorneys who advised, counseled, consulted and supported those memoranda included Alberto Gonzales, John Ashcroft, Michael Chertoff, Alice Fisher, William Haynes II, Douglas Feith, Michael Mukasey, Timothy Flanigan, and David Addington.

Several of these memoranda have recently been released, and clearly demonstrate that these attorneys conspired to violate laws against torture and that their actions resulted in torture and death. Accordingly, these attorneys must be held accountable. We have asked the respective state bars to revoke the licenses of the foregoing attorneys for moral turpitude. They failed to show “respect for and obedience to the law, and respect for the rights of others,” and intentionally or recklessly failed to act competently, all in violation of legal Rules of Professional Conduct. Several attorneys failed to adequately supervise the work of subordinate attorneys and forwarded shoddy legal memoranda regarding the definition of torture to the White House and Department of Defense. These lawyers further acted incompetently by advising superiors to approve interrogation techniques that were in violation of U.S. and international law. They failed to support or uphold the U.S. Constitution, and the laws of the United States, and to maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers, all in violation of state bar rules.

On Monday, May 18, 2009, a broad coalition of organizations dedicated to accountable government, and representing over one million members, filed disciplinary complaints with state bar licensing boards against the above named twelve attorneys for advocating he torture of detainees during the Bush Administration.  These detailed complaints, with over 500 pages of supporting exhibits, have been filed with the state bars in the District of Columbia, New York, California, Texas and Pennsylvania, and they seek disciplinary action and disbarment. Copies of the complaints and exhibits are available below.

The individually tailored complaints allege that the named attorneys violated the rules of professional responsibility by advocating torture.  The memos written and supported by these attorneys advocating torture have now been repudiated by the Department of Justice, the White House, the Department of Defense and other experts in the field.  The recently released Senate and Red Cross reports on detainee treatment provide uncontroverted evidence that the torture techniques advocated by the attorneys were used on human beings over an extended period of time. We have also sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, asking that he initiate impeachment proceeding against Jay Bybee, who is now a sitting federal judge. The evidence is clear that, during his confirmation hearings, Mr. Bybee misused the classified status of his torture memos to portray a false picture of his legal history. Several Senators have stated publicly that Mr. Bybee would not have been confirmed if they had been aware of his torture memos. The bar complaints have been signed by our board attorney, Kevin Zeese, who also directs the Campaign for Fresh Air and Clean Politics, and Voters for Peace.

We ask other organizations to sign on to this campaign by sending an email to Individuals can sign on using the form at VelvetRevolution. This campaign will include a broad public relations push so we urge everyone to spread the word and for the press to contact us for comment and interviews.

You can make targeted donations to this campaign at with an earmark comment in the box at

Torture Photos And Video For Media

Click here and here for dozens of torture photos and several anti-torture ads that we are making available to organizations and the media. Please give attribution to High resolution versions and hours of torture and waterboarding footage are also available upon request.

This YouTube music video with waterboarding and torture footage is available for rebroadcast with attribution.

Sign On Form

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Our State Bar Complaints

Jay Bybee-District of Columbia Bar Microsoft Word (.doc) Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
Douglas Feith-District of Columbia Bar Microsoft Word (.doc) Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
David Addington-District of Columbia Bar Microsoft Word (.doc) Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
Stephen Bradbury-District of Columbia Microsoft Word (.doc) Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
Michael Chertoff-District of Columbia Microsoft Word (.doc) Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
John Ashcroft-District of Columbia Microsoft Word (.doc) Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
Timothy Flanigan-District of Columbia Microsoft Word (.doc) Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
Alice Fisher-District of Columbia Bar Microsoft Word (.doc) Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
Michael Haynes-California Bar Microsoft Word (.doc) Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
John Yoo- Pennsylvania Bar Microsoft Word (.doc) Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
Alberto Gonzales-Texas Bar Microsoft Word (.doc) Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
Michael Mukasey-New York Bar Microsoft Word (.doc) Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)



Republicans for Impeachment
Progressive Democrats of America
Impeach Bybee
Prosecute Bush/Cheney
After Downing Street
Buzz FlashOp Ed News
Coalition Repair Project
Progressive Magazine
Global Network
Justice Through Music
Media With Conscience
Bend-C Friendship Project
Citizens for Legitimate Government
Center for Study of Democratic Societies
The World Can’t Wait
American Freedom Campaign
Liberty Tree
BFUU Social Justice Campaign
Peace for Justice Forums
WESPAC Foundation
PDA Marin County
Central Jersey Impeach Group
Chesapeake Citizens
Topple Bush
Stop Recruiters WWU
Whatcom Peacebuilders Club
Iraq Veterans for Justice
Longmont Citizens for Justice and Democracy
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
The Democratic Activists
The Solution Zone
Patrick Henry Democratic Club
Epluribus Media
Consumers for Peace
No Nukes North
Veterans for Peace
Florida Peace Action Network
Reclaim the GOP
Boston Anti-War League
Voters for Peace
Campaign for Fresh Air and Clean Politics

Bob Fertik
Ann Wright
Tim Carpenter
David Swanson
Benjamin David
William Crain
Phoebe Sorgen
Sphie de Vries
Bob Schecht
Susan Serpa
Peggy Love
Bruce Jones
Ben Maski
Andy Worlington
Mark Adams
William J. Cox
David Lindorff
Ann Wright
Steve Fox
Peggy Love
David J Dodge
Genie Maples
Rolf Radicke
Susan Girard
Susan Huggins
dennis wilson
Jaclyn Wilson
Deborah L. Givens
Pamela Selwyn
John H. Kennedy
Robley George
Bettejo Indelicato
Mike Woloshin
Bill Warick
Story Fitz
Nick Mattern
Dr. P. Thomas
Mark Hull-Richter
Laura Bonham
Amy Ferrer
Christiane Brown
Chris Borland
Chip Pitts
Ann Rick
Flux Rostrum
Evan Knapperberger
RJ Crane
Melinda Pillsbury Foster
Robert Braam
peggy kreager
Rhyda Conant
Laura V. Farthing, Esq.
jack Logue
Brennen Conner
Jonathan Lyons
David Wittner
David Slesinger
Mary Marino
Anita Fieldman
Nada Khader
Leslie Cagan
Kristina Borjesson
Debra Sweet
Lori Price
Timeteo Jeffries
Shahram Vahdany
Bruce Gagnon
Matthew Rothschild
David Robinson
Srena Crew
Lisa Boyd
Rob Kall
Peter Phillips
Mark Karlin
Doug Fuda
Bill Fersch
Susan Kopicki
Dan M Nalven
Stephen Heller
Andreas Wittenstein
Geralyn Wilson
larry berkovits


The Released Torture Memos

Recent Articles About Accountability For Torture

Accountability for Torture, The Nation, John Nichols, 4/22/09
Accountability Does Not Stop At White House Door, Harvard Law Record, Andrew Kallock, 4/16/09
Pressure Grows For Accountability, Amnesty International, 4/17/09
Medically Assisted Torture, New York Times, Editorial, 4/9/09
The Torturer’s Manifesto, New York Times, Editorial, 4/18/09
The Second Bybee Memo, Jurist Legal News and Research, Jordan Paust, 4/22/09
Federal Prosecution of War Criminals, Lawrence Vevel, 1/9/09
Faithfully Executing The Laws, UCLA Law Review, Dawn Johnsen, 2007
The Torture Team, Harpers Magazine, Scott Horton, 3/28/08
Torture Isn’t Patriotic, The Boston Globe, Editorial, 5/16/09
Efforts to Halt Harsh Tactics Thwarted, Washington Post, Carrie Johnson, 5/14/09
Obama Can’t Turn The Page On Bush, New York Times, Frank Rich, 5/18/09

There is a very exclusive club, whose membership is very few, the tormentors of the human race, history will not forget you.”