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Friday, February 20, 2009

U.S.: Calls Mount for Obama to Appoint "Truth Commission" By Jim Lobe*

Eighteen U.S. human rights groups Thursday joined a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and a retired top diplomat in calling on President Barack Obama to appoint a non-partisan commission of leading citizens to examine and report on the treatment of detainees held by the United States during President George W. Bush's "global war on terror."

In a joint statement, the groups, which included Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Human Rights First (HRF), said members of such a commission "should be persons of irreproachable integrity, credibility, and independence" with "reputation for putting the truth and the respect for our nation's founding principles ahead of any partisan advantage."

Such a commission should also report on the consequences of alleged abuses committed by U.S. officials against detainees and "make recommendations for future policy in this area," according to the statement, which was also signed by ret. Maj. General Antonio Taguba, the senior military officer whose 2004 report and subsequent Congressional testimony on abuses committed by U.S. soldiers in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq drew headlines and outrage around the world.


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