torture is wrong

opposing torture through activism and education

Captain Kangaroo Court PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 May 2009 11:19

The Word - on the Cobert Report 

Still laughing....

Memo to President Obama on Torture from Veteran Intelligence Professionals For Sanity PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 May 2009 10:31

Read it here

Charges Seen as Unlikely for Lawyers Over Interrogations PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 May 2009 21:27

WASHINGTON — An internal Justice Department inquiry into the conduct of Bush administration lawyers who wrote secret memorandums authorizing brutal interrogations has concluded that the authors committed serious lapses of judgment but should not be criminally prosecuted, according to government officials briefed on a draft of the findings.

Commentary on same by Brian Tamanaha at Balkinization

Commentary on same by Marc Ambinder at Atlantic

Ostensibly, Yoo, an attorney for the Office of Legal Counsel and Bybee, that section's chief, were tasked by Attorney General John Ashcroft with determining whether so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" violated U.S. law and treaty obligations.  But a draft report, prepared by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Review,  suggests that, at the direction of the White House, the OLC worked to justify a policy that had already been determined and did not begin their inquiry from a neutral position.

It is not clear -- and sources would not say -- who in the White House communicated with the two lawyers about the memos, and it is not clear whether Yoo or Bybee felt unduly pressured to provide a legal framework for a decision already made by senior administration officials.

The AP reported that an early version of the draft recommended that the California State Bar Association seek the disbarment of Yoo, now a Berkeley law professor, and Bybee, an appellate judge. A  Justice Department official said that the final decision had not been made.


Ronald Reagan: vengeful, score-settling, Hard Left ideologue PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 May 2009 21:26

Article by Glenn Greenwald 

The Religious Dimensions of the Torture Debate- Pew Poll PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 May 2009 21:24

Friends – it isn’t pretty.  The poll is here

"I believe that waterboarding is torture" President Obama PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 May 2009 21:24

From Glenn Greenwald:

As for Obama's answer to Tapper on whether he believes the Bush administration "sanctioned torture," what is most significant is that Obama flatly stated that waterboarding -- which Bush officials fracknowledged that they ordered -- constitutes "torture."  That means that Obama is currently and simultaneously advocating these positions:

* Bush officials ordered torture.

* Torture is a crime.

Nobody is above the law.

Unless you're David Broder, Fred Hiatt, Peggy Noonan or Tom Friedman, those premises of Obama's, as a matter of logical reasoning, all necessarily lead to one conclusion (hint:  it's not:  "This is a time for reflection, not retribution").  Greg Sargent has similar thoughts about the significance of Obama's torture answer.

UPDATE:  When asking Obama about whether Bush officials sanctioned torture, Tapper explicitly stated that "torture is a violation of international law and the Geneva Conventions" (it is also a violation of clear domestic criminal law).  Obama's acknowledgment that Bush officials did indeed sanction "torture" by, at the very least, ordering waterboarding amounts to a clear concession that Bush officials broke the law.  When you combine that conclusion with the "nobody-is-above-the-law" mantra they keep embracing, the case for criminal investigations makes itself.

UPDATE II:  Rep. Jerry Nadler, commenting to Greg Sargent on Obama's torture remarks, makes the obvious point:

President Obama said, "They used torture, I believe waterboarding is torture."  Once you concede that torture was committed, the law requires that there be an investigation, and if warranted, a prosecution . . . . The president stated in so many words: Waterboarding is torture, the previous administration has admitted that it waterboarded, and torture is a violation of international law.  Once this is admitted, there must be an investigation. It forces the Justice Department on this path.

I don't see how that can be contested.  As Sargent says:  "Expect more like this." 

Human Rights in the Dust PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 May 2009 21:20

Kiss the Era of Human Rights Goodbye

What Bush Willed to Obama and the World
By Karen J. Greenberg

These days, it's virtually impossible to escape the world of torture the Bush administration constructed. Whether we like it or not, almost every day we learn ever more about the full range of its shameful policies, about who the culprits were, and just which crimes they might be prosecuted for. But in the morass of memos, testimony, op-eds, punditry, whistle-blowing, documents, and who knows what else, with all the blaming, evasion, and denial going on, somehow we've overlooked the most significant victim of all. One casualty of the Bush torture policies -- certainly, at least equal in damage to those who were tortured and the country whose laws were twisted and perverted in the process -- has been human rights itself. And no one even seems to notice.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 May 2009 21:22 )
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