Media Contact: Heather Wong, 202.225.3072
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) today issued the following statement regarding the markup of H. Res. 700, directing the Attorney General to transmit to the House of Representatives documents in the possession of the Attorney General relating to the treatment of prisoners and detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay:
“For the past several months, stories of prisoner abuse have been dominating much of the discussion about the war in Iraq. And the stories are becoming more and more disturbing.
“A recent article in U.S. News and World Report detailed life at Abu Ghraib this way: “[r]iots, prisoner escapes, shootings, corrupt Iraqi guards, unsanitary conditions, rampant sexual misbehavior, bug-infested food, prisoner beatings and humiliations, and almost-daily mortar shellings from Iraqi insurgents…that pretty much sums up life at Abu Ghraib.” Even more disturbing, journalist Seymour Hersh recently asserted that the Bush Administration has videotapes of young boys being sodomized by American soldiers.
“Enough is enough. We need to get to the bottom of this. And that does not only mean prosecuting low-ranking soldiers. We need to find out whether those in command authorized these tactics, either explicitly or implicitly.
“President Bush claims that the abuse was the conduct of a few bad apples. But there are signs pointing elsewhere. For example, we recently learned that Secretary Rumsfeld initially authorized the use of dogs for intimidation purposes, and that some in the Department of Justice believed that, as Commander-in-Chief, President Bush could loosen the definition of “torture” without risking any legal consequences.
“In short, there are major questions that need to be answered. Those questions need to be answered by this Congress, not a panel appointed by Secretary Rumsfeld. Why then, are Republicans refusing to act? Not one House committee has undertaken a formal, public investigation of this matter.
“The eyes of the world are watching. I urge my colleagues to support this resolution so that we can finally investigate these issues and match our principles with our actions.”