June 27, 2017

Duckworth to Torture Memo Author: You’ve Failed to Stand Up For What’s Right. How Can You Stand Up to Trump?


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Drawing on her experience of being shot down in Iraq, combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) delivered powerful remarks today opposing President Trump's nomination of Steven Bradbury -the author of some of the infamous Bush administration torture memos - to be General Counsel of the Department of Transportation. Citing Bradbury's role in finding legal loopholes to justify the Bush Administration's use of torture methods such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation and cramped confinement, Duckworth explained to Bradbury how torture endangers the lives of U.S. troops who serve every day in harm's way. Video of Duckworth's remarks is available online here. A higher quality video is available for download here and audio is available for download here.

"When Steven Bradbury was working in President Bush's Department of Justice, he lacked the judgment to stand up against that Administration's use of torture - in fact, he condoned it," said Duckworth. "When you're stuck bleeding in a helicopter behind enemy lines like I was, you hope and pray that if the enemy finds you first, they treat you humanely. Mr. Bradbury lacked moral conviction in the Bush White House, and I don't think he can be trusted to stand up for the values I fought to defend, especially not in a Trump Presidency."

Speaking to the Senate Commerce Committee, which will vote on whether to advance Bradbury's nomination to the full Senate, Duckworth highlighted a 2005 memo Bradbury wrote attempting to justify the use of 13 so-called "enhanced interrogation tactics" including waterboarding, sleep deprivation and cramped confinement. Duckworth also referenced a 2007 memo Bradbury authored attempting to provide legal justification for similar techniques even after Congress passed the Detainee Treatment Act to prohibit cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment - as well as a report from the Justice Department's Office of Personal Responsibility examining whether he violated professional standards and provided poor legal advice. At the time, Bradbury was the acting head of the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel.