NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama's administration is creating impunity for senior officials of former President George W. Bush accused of authorizing torture, the American Civil Liberties Union said on Thursday.
As Obama accepted the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, the ACLU, which has pursued nearly a dozen cases against the U.S. government since 2003 related to prisoner abuse, accused him of failing to provide accountability on torture.
"We're increasingly disappointed and alarmed by the current administration's stance on accountability for torture," said ACLU National Security Project Director Jameel Jaffer. "The administration is actively obstructing accountability."
Obama said in April that CIA interrogators who had used waterboarding -- a form of simulated drowning -- on suspected militants will not face prosecution and he released Bush-era memos specifying that the practice did not constitute torture.
Republicans criticized Obama's release of the memos, saying it left the door open for the prosecution of former Bush officials who authorized severe CIA interrogations.
But the ACLU said Obama was instead preventing any investigations through his pledge to look forward and not review the past.