During a press conference today, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, echoed President-elect Obama’s vow to end torture and pledged to continue investigating the Bush administration’s torture policies. “All that is going to be reviewed,” he said:
Q: Do you think Congress should continue to seek a final reckoning of what happened behind the White House orchestration of the firings of the U.S. attorneys and also the adoption of the policies of torture?
LEAHY: Personally I would like to know exactly what happened because — more of a past is prologue kind of thing. I would like to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. Torture is going to be a major issue. Torture is going to be a major issue. … And so all that’s going to be reviewed.
Leahy — who praised Obama’s pick of Eric Holder to lead the Justice Department — condemned Bush’s torture policies for their affect on worldwide opinion of the United States: “I can’t tell you how much we have hurt our image abroad.” He added, “But we were better than that. And this has hurt our image.”