Wednesday, April 02, 2008

"Justice" Department Torture Memo Released

WaPo: Memo: Laws Didn't Apply to Interrogators
Justice Dept. Official in 2003 Said President's Wartime Authority Trumped Many Statutes

The Justice Department's horrifying torture memo, stripped to its bare essentials, argues that the ends justify the means. If the Bush administration is fighting terrorists (so much scarier than Nazis, so to hell with those pantywaist Geneva Conventions) it has the right to do so by all means necessary, laws and treaties be damned. Torture is justified as "self-defense":

Interrogators who harmed a prisoner would be protected by a "national and international version of the right to self-defense," Yoo wrote. He also articulated a definition of illegal conduct in interrogations -- that it must "shock the conscience" -- that the Bush administration advocated for years.

"Whether conduct is conscience-shocking turns in part on whether it is without any justification," Yoo wrote, explaining, for example, that it would have to be inspired by malice or sadism before it could be prosecuted.

The former Army judge advocate general says the Justice Department was claiming it was above the law:

Thomas J. Romig, who was then the Army's judge advocate general, said yesterday after reading the memo that it appears to argue there are no rules in a time of war, a concept Romig found "downright offensive."

The authors of this memo have written themselves a one-way ticket to hell. Incredibly, John Yoo, the primary author, is employed by the state of California as a professor of law at Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkley. He's teaching two constitutional law courses this spring. What is he teaching these students? That the constitution is akin to a roll of toilet paper, which can be flushed down the toilet whenever it's expedient?

Hey, I can do a service to his students. I'll outline the course so they don't have to:

Laws, schmaws.

Write that, and you pass.

No comments: