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Tell the Senate: Torture memo author Steven Bradbury has no place in government

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Petition to the U.S. Senate:

"An enabler of George W. Bush’s torture program has no place in the federal government. Block and resist Trump’s nomination of torture memo author Steven Bradbury."

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    Tell the Senate: Torture memo author Steven Bradbury has no place in government

    For those who thought Trump’s nominees could not be any worse, Trump’s latest pick represents a disturbing new low. Trump has nominated Bush-era torture policy architect Steven Bradbury as general counsel for the Department of Transportation.

    While serving as the lead attorney for George W. Bush’s Department of Justice, Bradbury wrote three secret opinions on the CIA’s use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" – also known as the “torture memos.”1 Thanks in large part to his work, the CIA retained authority to torture prisoners up until President Obama shut down the program in 2009.

    The CIA is not above the law, and neither is Donald Trump. Trump may want to hire lawyers who are willing defend limitless powers for the executive branch, but Bradbury’s justification of torture shows exactly why such power is so dangerous.

    Tell the Senate: Block and resist Trump’s nomination of torture policy architect Steven Bradbury.

    During his time in the Bush administration, Steven Bradbury gave the legal thumbs-up to a harrowing list of torture methods – waterboarding, nudity, striking prisoners, exposure to extreme temperatures, dousing with cold water, sleep deprivation for more than seven days, cramped conditions and using these tactics in combination.2 While the military has a longstanding prohibition on torture, Bradbury concluded its policies didn’t apply to the CIA.3 His decisions were later overturned, and the Department of Justice’s ethics office would later issue a report citing "serious concerns about some of his analysis."4

    Trump might think the public won’t notice if he sneaks Bradbury into an agency mostly unrelated to his prior work. But this attempt to rehabilitate Bradbury and allow him back into public service is not acceptable. No one who promotes and defends torture is qualified to work in our government.

    In fact, Bradbury's 2008 nomination to serve as the head of the Office of Legal Counsel was blocked by senators because of concerns with his role in torture and surveillance and whether he could be sufficiently independent of the White House.5 The Senate needs to use their confirmation power again to make sure torture promoter Steven Bradbury is never in a position of government power again.

    Tell the Senate: Block and resist Trump’s nomination of torture policy architect Steven Bradbury.

    The opposition to Bradbury’s nomination is growing. During a Senate committee interview of Bradbury, a number of senators voiced their opposition to a candidate willing to “rubber-stamp” the abuse of power,6 and Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a veteran, placed a formal hold on his confirmation.7 Veterans and peace activists were arrested protesting Bradbury at the hearing.8

    To be confirmed, Bradbury needs the approval of both the Senate Commerce Committee and the full Senate. To stop that from happening we need more senators to join Sen. Duckworth in doing everything they can to block and resist his confirmation.

    Tell the Senate: Block and resist Trump’s nomination of torture policy architect Steven Bradbury.

    References:

    1. Rebecca Morin, “‘Torture memo’ author nominated for Trump administration post,” Politico, June 5, 2017.
    2. Associated Press, “These Are The 13 'Enhanced Interrogation Techniques' The CIA Used On Detainees,” Business Insider, Dec. 10, 2014.
    3. Steven Bradbury, “Memo for John A. Rizzo, Senior Deputy General Counsel, CIA, Re: Application of 18 USC §§2340-2340A to Certain Techniques That May Be Used in the Interrogation of a High Value Al Qaeda Detainee,” US Dept. of Justice Office of Legal Counsel, May 10, 2005.
    4. Eric Lichtblau and Scott Shane, “Report faults two authors of Bush terror memos," The New York Times, Feb. 19, 2010.
    5. Mirren Gidda, “Donald Trump nominates controversial ‘torture memos’ author Steven Bradbury to administration post,” Newsweek, June 6, 2017.
    6. Charlie Savage, “Trump Nominee Who Wrote Bush-Era Torture Memos Is Scrutinized,” The New York Times, June 28, 2017.
    7. Lindsay Maizland, “Steven Bradbury wrote the memos authorizing torture. Trump wants him back in government,” Vox, June 29, 2017.