US Congress: National Lawyers Guild to testify on Torture of Prisoners

Thursday, May 1, 2008, 12:28 PM

Contact: Marjorie Cohn, NLG President, [email protected], 858-204-3565
Heidi Boghosian, NLG Executive Director,
[email protected]; 212-679-5100, x11


On Tuesday, May 6, 2008, National Lawyers Guild President Marjorie Cohn will provide testimony at a hearing titled “From the Department of Justice to Guantánamo Bay: Administration Lawyers and Administration Interrogation Rules,” before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the House Judiciary Committee. The hearing will begin at 10:00 a.m. at 2141 Rayburn House Office Building in Washington DC.

Cohn is a Professor of Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and the author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law, in which she documents the illegal policy of torture established by high officials of the Bush administration and lawyers in the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, including former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo.

Yoo was also invited to testify at Tuesday’s hearing but declined the invitation.

Testimony will also be provided by Philippe Sands, Professor of Law and Director of the Centre on International Courts and Tribunals at the University College London. Sands authored the book, Lawless World, in which he accuses George W. Bush and Tony Blair of conspiring to invade Iraq in violation of international law.

On April 9, 2008 the National Lawyers Guild called for John Yoo to be tried as a war criminal and for the University of California Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law to dismiss him for conspiring to facilitate the commission of war crimes. The Guild also called on Congress to repeal the provision of the Military Commissions Act that would give Yoo immunity from prosecution for torture committed from September 11, 2001 to December 30, 2005.

Cohn said, “John Yoo’s complicity in establishing the policy that led to the torture of prisoners constitutes a war crime under the U.S. War Crimes Act.” See Cohn’s article at … ghts.html.

The National Lawyers Guild was founded in 1937 as an alternative to the American Bar Association, which did not admit people of color, the National Lawyers Guild is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States. Its headquarters are in New York and it has chapters in every state.  

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