Committee Reports

Recommendations Regarding Compensation and Treatment for Victims of Torture, and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment


The Task Force on National Security and the Rule of Law (Mark R. Shulman, Chair) and City Bar President John S. Kiernan, have submitted a report to Congress recommending remedies for those the United States has tortured or subjected to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment in the years following 9/11. Citing the publication in December 2014 of the 500-plus page executive summary of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report on CIA detention and interrogation, the report states, “the public record today includes clear and overwhelming evidence of wide-ranging abuses” by the United States. The report goes on to make the case that, “the national security, values and law of the United States demand compensation and treatment for victims of U.S. programs deploying so-called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques.’” It also notes that federal law makes the commission of torture by U.S. officials a crime and makes the commission of torture and other war crimes by or against U.S. nationals prosecutable in federal court. While recognizing that “in some instances, paying funds to individuals who have been convicted of, or are being actively prosecuted for, terrorist acts may raise national security concerns….existing law provides several means to avoid unjust enrichment or material assistance to individuals who constitute an on-going threat to the nation’s security.…Any remaining gaps in the necessary forfeiture mechanisms can be filled in through necessary and appropriate legislation consistent with domestic and international norms of government accountability.”