Posted on January 9, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
U.S. Sen. Mark Udall.
Sen. Mark Udall asks Obama administration to make a commitment on transparency
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — While some government officials would like nothing better than to sweep the details of the CIA’s brutal detention and interrogation program under the rug, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) continues to push for a full and transparent accounting of the agency’s actions.
As part of the so-called war on terror, the CIA was authorized by the Bush administration to torture prisoners in order to try and prevent terrorist attacks. Some legal experts say those actions violated international law, including the Geneva Convention, and some former Bush administration officials have been indicted in absentia by courts in other countries.
Udall has long claimed that the U.S. needs to come clean about its actions in order to rebuild credibility and trust in the international community. In a Jan. 6 letter to President Barack Obama, Udall said he wants the CIA to release documents needed by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to complete its report on the agency’s activities under the Bush administration. Continue reading
Filed under: Democracy | Tagged: CIA, civil liberties, detention and interrogation, Mark Udall, torture, war on terror | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 5, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Policies that allow lethal targeting of U.S. citizens at issue during confirmation hearings
A Justice Department white paper outlines legal rationale for use of deadly force against U.S. citizens.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A bipartisan group of U.S. senators, including Colorado Democrat Mark Udall, said this week they want more information on U.S. policies that permit the government to kill American citizens during counter-terrorism operations.
Udall joined Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) in asking President Obama for details of the secret legal opinions that enable the president to target Americans if, for example, they are working as operatives for Al Qa’ida.
In their Feb. 4 letter, the senators likened the situation to the Civil War, when President Lincoln had authority to order Union troops to fire on Confederate forces. They acknowledged that, if Americans choose to take up arms against their own country, that there is a justification for targeting them with deadly force. Continue reading
Filed under: world news | Tagged: civil liberties, deadly force against U.S. citizens, extrajudicial killing, National security, U.S. counter-terrorism policy | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 14, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Sen. Mark Udall.
Colorado lawmaker quizzes intelligence agency leaders on civil liberties and U.S. torture policy during joint committee hearing
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Invoking a famous Benjamin Franklin quote on liberty and security, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colorado) this week called on the Obama administration to finalize membership of a watchdog group formed to guard against over-zealous intrusion into the privacy of citizens in the name of the war on terrorism.
Udall’s comments came during a joint hearing of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees about the lessons of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and follows his earlier calls for more transparency about how intelligence officials interpret anti-terrorism laws including the Patriot Act.
The Senate has failed to confirm two key appointments to the independent Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, a delay that has drawn criticism from the co-chairs of the 9/11 commission. Last year, President nominated two members for the five-member board, but they have not yet been confirmed by the Senate, and one additional member needs to be nominated and confirmed for a quorum. The ACLU’s Patriot Act page is online here. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, federal government, Summit County news | Tagged: Anti-terrorism laws, civil liberties, enhanced interrogation, Mark Udall, Patriot Act, Patriot Act reform, U.S. torture policy | 3 Comments »