Friday, June 27, 2008

Bush 'Torture' Lawyers Duck Questions

By Jason Leopold
June 27, 2008

Mixing haughty disdain with semantic quibbling, two key legal architects behind George W. Bush’s “war on terror” tactics brushed aside congressional questions about how the administration fashioned its harsh interrogation policies that human rights experts say crossed the line into torture.

Former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo and Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff David Addington also downplayed their roles in formulating the theories of presidential power that gave Bush wide latitude to order that detainees be subjected to painful treatment to break them down.

Read on.


Anonymous said...

"Haughty" and "disdainful" are terms used critically and from a distance to belittle the subjects. But the inability of the solons interviewing these brazen malefactors to make them speak truthfully indicates the potency of their positions. And that the topic of the asserted legality of torture and the undiminishable power of the president is not sufficient to alarm citizens to demonstrate their contrary values and beliefs indicates to me that the environment is much more lethal to such protest and belief than we care to see.

Alan B. said...

The only correction I would make to Parry's otherwise excellent commentary is that waterboarding is not "simulated drowning." A victim of waterboarding is actually drowning ]. The torturers merely stop short of actually killing him. And while the victim might rationally know that the torturers will stop before he dies, it is an absolutely involuntary reflex to react as if you are dying and to panic. If water is going in your nose and mouth and into your lungs, you are drowning, whether you die or not.

And I would also agree with Anonymous that part of the problem with these hearings is that the Congressmen let Yoo get away with characterizing their questions as unfair or too broad. That's nonsense.

Oh, and since John Yoo's memo was not just academic theorizing on justifications for torture but was an instrumental part of a program that actually implemented torture, that should mean his tenure at U. Cal. Berkeley can be revoked, and he can be fired. What a disgrace that he is on the faculty there or anywhere.