February 24, 2010

John Yoo would like Barack Obama to know: "I may have just helped save his presidency."

He'd like a little appreciation for "winning a drawn-out fight to protect his powers as commander in chief to wage war and keep Americans safe." Of course, the fight was against the current Executive Branch, including the investigation conducted by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility:
OPR's investigation was so biased, so flawed, and so beneath the Justice Department's own standards that last week the department's ranking civil servant and senior ethicist, David Margolis, completely rejected its recommendations.
Yoo says he fought for "to help our president—President Obama, not Bush.
If a president cannot, or will not, protect the men and women who fight our nation's wars, they will follow the same risk-averse attitudes that invited the 9/11 attacks in the first place.
Without a vigorous commander-in-chief power at his disposal, Mr. Obama will struggle to win any of these victories. But that is where OPR, playing a junior varsity CIA, wanted to lead us. Ending the Justice Department's ethics witch hunt not only brought an unjust persecution to an end, but it protects the president's constitutional ability to fight the enemies that threaten our nation today.

164 comments:

Meade said...

Obama should replace Eric Holder as Attorney General. Yoo would be an excellent choice.

From Inwood said...

Yoo is correct in every way: His victory is a victory for the Country since it’s a victory for the Commander in Chief, even though The One is probably too ideological to appreciate it:

“Ending the Justice Department’s ethics witch hunt not only brought an unjust persecution to an end, but it protects the president’s constitutional ability to fight the enemies that threaten our nation today.”

Next, end the witch hunt of the CIA agents who used EITs.

Then recognize & don't repeat the errors of the Bush Administration, discovered through the on-the-job training it underwent. We’re fighting a war against terror not pursuing the case against terror, with the ACLU's “The Idiot’s Guide To Terror Trials”, including Miranda-warnings & civil trials.

And stop peddling this garbage:

The Obama administration is portraying guilty pleas entered Monday by an Al Qaeda operative as evidence of how the criminal justice system can be used to combat terrorism…

“We need not make more of these people than they are. [They] are thugs. They are people who engaged in criminal warlike activities against the United States but they are people who are not different from people we have shown we have the ability to handle in the past,” Holder said.


http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/33310.html

I guess The Hon Holder is able to figure out the difference between “criminal warlike activities” &, you know, actual war activities. Such staggering insight is found so infrequently.

Hagar said...

This fuzz is beside the point.

Lawyers give advice; you are still responsible for deciding to take that advice or not.

former law student said...

Obama should replace Eric Holder as Attorney General. Yoo would be an excellent choice.

Because blind loyalty to the boss is always what we want in a subordinate?

Yoo is correct in every way

Saying that the Miranda decision was correct does not mean we approve of thugs who kidnap, rob, and rape young women.

Ger said...

From an earlier post:

"So, an autocracy? That would be swell?"

Apparently that's what Yoo believes - a President without limits - so it must be a swell idea!

Robert Cook said...

Yoo is a liar, aside from being a facilitator of war crimes and a whore to power. (Of course, one wouldn't expect a Goebbels to admit to complicity in crimes against humanity, either.)

Margolis hardly ratified the correctness of Yoo and Bybee's approval of torture; he merely ruled they could not be determined to have knowingly provided incorrect legal advice because in their ideological conviction, they "believed" in the advice they gave.

Sounds like bullshit to me. The fix was in and these creeps were not going down for their crimes, but, as badly as this reflects on Margolis, he knew, at least, he could not affirm their legal advice was correct. This was the best he could do, and a slender thread indeed on which to hang one's claim of "vindication." (Rather like perjuror Oliver North disingenuously claiming similar vindication for the vacation of his conviction due to the kind of "legal technicality" I thought Republicans have always scorned.)

If these guys didn't have bad character, they wouldn't have any character at all.

SMGalbraith said...

Apparently that's what Yoo believes - a President without limits - so it must be a swell idea!

Yoo is talking exclusively about the powers, as he sees them, of the commander-in-chief once war is authorized by Congress. War powers. Authorized by Congress.

I think his argument (broadly speaking) is wrong since he believes that Congress can essentially only limit those war powers by cutting off funding.

But nowhere does he believe in unlimited executive power.

SMGalbraith said...

The fix was in and these creeps were not going down for their crimes, but, as badly as this reflects on Margolis

I know I shouldn't but what the hell: Yoo's crime was?

dbp said...

"John Yoo would like Barack Obama to know: "I may have just helped save his presidency.""

And

President Obama will be sure to remind Mr. Yoo that no good deed goes unpunished.

dbp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

John Yoo would like Barack Obama to know: I may have just helped save his presidency."

Yoo says he fought for "to help our president—President Obama, not Bush.


Yet I do not think any appreciation will be forthcoming, because one of Obama's fatal flaws, conceits really, is his belief that whatever happens a different standard should apply to him anyway simply because he's a better person.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I know I shouldn't but what the hell: Yoo's crime was?

Well for Cookie, it was providing the President advice on getting information, however distasteful the method, that would prevent a Islamic nihilists from committing more acts of mass murder of Americans.

Robert Cook said...

"I know I shouldn't but what the hell: Yoo's crime was?"

Being complicit in and a facilitator of torture...a war crime.

former law student said...

Yoo -- a professor with no international law experience -- misinterpreted international law, so that the Bush administration could torture detainees by pretending it wasn't really torture.

The DOJ decided providing bad legal advice was not official misconduct, because Yoo was merely ignorant, and did not intentionally mislead the Bush administration.

former law student said...

Waterboarding was torture when we prosecuted Japanese soldiers for waterboarding Doolittle Raider Chase Nielsen.

SMGalbraith said...

Being complicit in and a facilitator of torture...a war crime.

Yoo gave legal advice as to the powers of the executive during war.

He authorized or approved or supported not a single policy.

Saying Yoo is complicit in torture is like saying Justice Blackmun is complicit in abortion because he found a right for such an act in the Constitution.

vet66 said...

Yoo for AG.

Cook; You should stay out of activities you don't have the stomach for. You have a problem with enemy identification and impress me with your utter lack of experience in fighting under opaque ROE.

Your outrage would be better served protesting the Jihadist terrorists who fight our military from behind civilian shields inviting collateral damage as fodder for the recruitment alleys on arab streets.

Stay off the battlefield and let those who know what they are doing speak to the psychopaths in words and deeds they understand.

I don't hear a word from you about rape rooms, murder and mayehm inflicted on females in muslim countries, including the U.S., and serial abuse of minorities in arab countries. When you whine about waterboarding, the captured terrorists consider it a day at the spa when compared to what they would suffer under the not-so-delicate ministrations of their fellow arabs.

Maguro said...

Being complicit in and a facilitator of torture...a war crime.

Cookie, facilitating torture is not a war crime. In fact, it's perfectly OK to facilitate torture as long as it's not a U.S. government employee directly applying said torture.

For example, it's perfectly kosher to have a CIA agent sit down and take notes while the Pakistanis torture a suspected terrorist.

It's only a war crime when the CIA agent pours water on the terrorist's face himself.

Oh, and it's also OK to drop a 500 lb bomb on a suspected terrorist's house. Just don't pour water on his face in order to get life-saving information from him.

Very nuanced, I know, but as an ultra-liberal you should be smart enough to understand.

former law student said...

Yoo gave legal advice as to the powers of the executive during war.

This made me wonder. Could Clinton's OLC have given him a memo defining "sexual relations," that he used as authority for his statement, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."?

Because if only penis-in-vagina sex is "sexual relations," the dress-spattering cigar poking Clinton would have been home free.

Brian said...

Saying Yoo is complicit in torture is like saying Justice Blackmun is complicit in abortion because he found a right for such an act in the Constitution.

Actually, since Blackmun was on the Supreme Court, his opinion carried the weight of law. It's more apropos to say that Yoo is complicit in torture like Linda Coffee's associate who helped write
the argument before the Supreme Court is complicit in every act of abortion since Roe v. Wade.

Peano said...

... one of Obama's fatal flaws, conceits really, is his belief that whatever happens a different standard should apply to him anyway simply because he's a better person.

Yes. And this we know beyond a doubt: When a person creates an aura of being superior to others, it is because somewhere in the secret recesses of his heart, he sees himself as inferior to others.

Considering Bambi's oversized aura of superiority, his inner sense of inferiority must be one for the books. Clinical textbooks.

Freder Frederson said...

Yoo gave legal advice as to the powers of the executive during war.

No, Yoo's reading of the law was so incompetent that any reasonable lawyer could not have given the advice in good faith. It is though a mob lawyer advised his client how to launder money and the client followed the instructions exactly. The lawyer has become part of the conspiracy.

Yoo, by ignoring the plain language of both the torture statute and the Convention Against Torture became a party to war crimes.

There was a arguably legal way that the Bush administration could have tortured. It could have withdrawn the U.S. from the Convention Against Torture. It chose not to. Rather, Bush continually lied and claimed "we don't torture".

Hoosier Daddy said...

Waterboarding was torture when we prosecuted Japanese soldiers for waterboarding Doolittle Raider Chase Nielsen.

Cahse Nielsen was a uniformed soldier and afforded protections under the Geneva Convention.

Oh wait, Imperial Japan didn't sign the Geneva Convention...

Freder Frederson said...

I don't hear a word from you about rape rooms

Under Yoo's definition of torture, what is your problem with rape rooms? Rape would be a perfectly acceptable interrogation technique.

From Inwood said...

failed law student thinks that simply repeating all the misrepresentations about the law & the war he's said on previous posts will make them true, no?

But hey we're glad that he doesn't

approve of thugs who kidnap, rob, and rape young women.

Trouble is... oh wait let me quote an actual lawyer who actually prosecuted these "thugs" who, you know, just happen to be "people who engaged in criminal warlike activities against the United States" as the Hon Holder (& presumably his boss) would distinguish them from guys who are actually making war against us.

Andy McCarthy:

“From the country’s perspective,” he said, “it’s not a good thing.” A prosecutor’s job, he added, “is not the national security of the United States.”

In June 1998, the office secretly indicted Osama bin Laden. Three months later, Al Qaeda blew up the two embassies.

“I mean, we could go into the grand jury and indict him three times a week,” Mr. McCarthy said. “But to do anything about it, you needed the Marines. You didn’t need us.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/20/nyregion/20prosecutor.html?scp=1&sq=Andy%20McCarthy&st=cse

Don't know how the NYT editors let that get printed!

Freder Frederson said...

Cahse Nielsen was a uniformed soldier and afforded protections under the Geneva Convention.

Show me in the Convention Against Torture where there is any mention that its protections are limited to any class of people in any way.

Freder Frederson said...

Cahse Nielsen was a uniformed soldier and afforded protections under the Geneva Convention.

Show me in the Convention Against Torture where there is any mention that its protections are limited to any class of people in any way.

Freder Frederson said...

failed law student thinks that simply repeating all the misrepresentations about the law & the war he's said on previous posts will make them true, no?

It is the defenders of torture who consistently misstate the law and the pertinent treaties. No matter how many times I state it, it never seems to sink in that the Convention Against Torture protects everybody.

But don't worry, apparently professors of law at Berkeley and Wisconsin are too stupid to figure that out. Apparently comprehending English isn't a prerequisite for tenure at those law schools.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Show me in the Convention Against Torture where there is any mention that its protections are limited to any class of people in any way.

I don't consider pouring water on someone's face to obatin information as torture. Sorry. I was treated worse in fraternity hazing.

The day you muster an ounce of outrage over the brutality exhibited by the very people you seem to think should be afforded better treatment than our own soldiers get when the tables are turned then I'll start to take you seriously.

Freder Frederson said...

For example, it's perfectly kosher to have a CIA agent sit down and take notes while the Pakistanis torture a suspected terrorist.

Actually that's debatable and would certainly be illegal if the prisoner was in U.S. custody. And military law is certainly different. It would be a war crime for a U.S. soldier to stand idly by while someone was tortured, even if that person was in the custody of allied forces.

vet66 said...

Freder; explain the Bataan death march, serial executions along the route, forced labor as a slow death sentence, and Imperial Japanese who engaged in the Rape of Nanking on Mainland China?

I forgot, to those self-loathing hippies who never had it so good as to take pot shots at our prosecution of terrorists involved in holocaust on a grand and small scale, let's use our protectors as targets.

You don't take the fight to the enemy in the faculty lounge at Harvard...at least not yet. Next discussion; Daniel Pearl's last few minutes of life on earth or Theo Van Gogh, or....!

Freder Frederson said...

The day you muster an ounce of outrage over the brutality exhibited by the very people you seem to think should be afforded better treatment than our own soldiers get when the tables are turned then I'll start to take you seriously.

I don't know why you characterize me as not being outraged over the brutality exhibited by terrorists. I defy you to find one statement from me where I have defended the actions of terrorists of any kind.

But you are right that I think we should treat our captives better than our soldiers are treated by the terrorists. After all, we are civilized and believe in the rule of law.

Brian said...

Ya think Freder is baiting the troll hook for Ms. Althouse?

I'm not a lawyer, so I can't say whether the Convention Against Torture is limited or not. But explain to me Freder: How is Obama not a war criminal also, by letting Pakistan detain that number 2 Al-qaeda commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar? I'm sure Pakistan will question him nicely, with a lawyer present. Frequent bathroom breaks and nutritious meals. And the U.S. won't use any intelligence gathered if Mr. Baradar is in any way mistreated.

Anyway, Egypt is a signatory to the treaty, and last I heard they weren't examples of humane treatment of prisoners.

spongeworthy said...

I have never seen a single opponent of so-called torture explain how a procedure in which the subject arises under his own power and walks away without a mark on him is absolutely torture. How no one could possibly believe otherwise.

I think his argument (broadly speaking) is wrong since he believes that Congress can essentially only limit those war powers by cutting off funding.


Well, Yoo also believes the Congress has some persuasive political powers as well as impeachment. But don't knock that funding noose--it's pretty darned authoritative.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I defy you to find one statement from me where I have defended the actions of terrorists of any kind.

Silence=Acceptance.

In other words, the only time you crawl from under your rock to bleat is when its to bash this country.

But you are right that I think we should treat our captives better than our soldiers are treated by the terrorists. After all, we are civilized and believe in the rule of law.

Good for you. I believe in reciprocity if it means it will save the lives of Americans. Something you obviously could care less about.

AllenS said...

The present administrations response to Freder, fuck off.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Freder's problem is that he thinks a Islamic fanatic who seeks nothing other than our destruction will be motivated by the same carrot and stick methods of interrogation that Obersturmbahnfuhrer von Klemp of the 2nd Panzer division would.

I'm trying to understand why if I were a fanatic, knowing you will only use the Army Field manual methods of interrogation, even deign to cooperate? I'd just tell you to go f**** yourself and get my Koran, prayer rug and haalal meal.

Cause that's how you're supposed to treat me as a 'civilized nation'.

garage mahal said...

I don't consider pouring water on someone's face to obatin information as torture. Sorry. I was treated worse in fraternity hazing.

Then why did they stop waterboarding altogether starting in 2004 when it's just a little water game that saved lives?

spongeworthy said...

Then why did they stop waterboarding...?

Umm, because you people misrepreesented the practice until it turned into a PR nightmare?

I fail to see how the dscontinuation of a practice proves anything at all about its nature.

Freder Frederson said...

I have never seen a single opponent of so-called torture explain how a procedure in which the subject arises under his own power and walks away without a mark on him is absolutely torture.

So you don't think mock executions are torture? Too bad they are specifically mentioned in the torture statute.

We have learned long ago that some of the most effective forms of torture cause no physical damage at all.

garage mahal said...

Umm, because you people misrepreesented the practice until it turned into a PR nightmare?

Cheney just said he was a big fan of waterboarding, and it saved lives.

Robert Cook said...

"I believe in reciprocity if it means it will save the lives of Americans."

Bully for you, and I believe pigs will fly. It doesn't matter what you believe...it doesn't make torture legal...or morally acceptable, just as pigs will never fly, no matter how much I "believe."

Maguro said...

Bush's interrogation and detention policy was infinitely more moral and just than the current administration's policy of rendition (i.e. torture-by-proxy).
They evaluated each technique from an ethical and legal point of view, wrote up their findings and took responsibility for what they did to fight our enemies.

On the other hand, we'll never know what Pakistan did to make Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar spill the beans. Which is just the way Obama wants it.

That way, Freder can lie to himself, avert his eyes and pretend the whole thing has nothing to do with us.

It's contemptible moral cowardice. And our enemies notice our weakness. They notice.

Freder Frederson said...

Freder's problem is that he thinks a Islamic fanatic who seeks nothing other than our destruction will be motivated by the same carrot and stick methods of interrogation that Obersturmbahnfuhrer von Klemp of the 2nd Panzer division would.

And your problem seems to be that torture would somehow be more effective on an Islamic fundamentalist than carrot and stick methods. Why would a true fanatic crack because of a little physical or mental discomfort if the consequences of talking are eternal damnation?

It seems to me that convincing him his cause is wrong is much more likely to elicit useful information than confirming his worst prejudices about westerners.

Robert Cook said...

"How is Obama not a war criminal also...?"

Oh, but he is.

Freder Frederson said...

Bush's interrogation and detention policy was infinitely more moral and just than the current administration's policy of rendition (i.e. torture-by-proxy).

Bush utilized rendition too. Don't pretend he didn't.

I will agree that rendition is also wrong if we have reason to believe the detainees will be tortured.

Freder Frederson said...

Cheney just said he was a big fan of waterboarding, and it saved lives.

Which is why Cheney should be in jail.

AllenS said...

Right now, in Pakistan, there are people screaming in pain. They have bruises. Blood is flowing. There is dried blood on their clothes, and not a drop of water his hit their faces. Good.

Monkeyboy said...

FWIW Imperial Japanese waterboarding (forced injestion and stamping on the stomach) is relatable to US waterbboarding (which we do in training to our own SPECOPS) as modern SuperMax prisons are to the black hole of Calcutta.

vet66 said...

Freder/Cook: if you guys find yourselves flying coach and seated next to a middle-eastern type who goes to the bathroom a lot and has wires coming out of his tennis shoes, don't worry about it. By the time you finish explaining your position to him on torture they will be killing themselves not you, although you will be collateral damage. Napolitano has your six. Count on it!

spongeworthy said...

Cheney just said he was a big fan of waterboarding, and it saved lives.

He noted in the next breath that he lost that argument, didn't he? Funny you omitted that part.

And you didn't really respond to the point at all, did you? You want to demonize Woo for rendering an opinion you don't agree with, but you and others always fail to explain why his opinion is wrong and why his errors, as you see them, are born of evil.

No one undergoing waterboarding believes he is going to perish. The response that is so unpleasant is an innate, subconscious one and is not from a reasoned belief that one's end is nigh. In that regard, it differs a great deal from mock execution.

AllenS said...

From a different, earlier post:

garage mahal said...
"Taliban captures surpass in one year the previous eight".

That's because they are being captured in Pakistan, and Pakistan is torturing the fuck out of them, and they are ratting on their friends. Good.

former law student said...

we'll never know what Pakistan did to make Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar spill the beans

Pakistan ratified the Geneva Conventions in 1951, four years before the US did. So they have to treat prisoners of war humanely.

Monkeyboy said...

It seems to me that convincing him his cause is wrong is much more likely to elicit useful information than confirming his worst prejudices about westerners.

Actually you're trying to convine hin that his Religion is wrong. I don't know how long that takes, there are hard cases in GTMO still after ten years.

Maguro said...

Pakistan ratified the Geneva Conventions in 1951, four years before the US did. So they have to treat prisoners of war humanely.

LOL. You really are too much.

Ben said...

It is simply impossible that Mr. Yoo is unaware of precedents such as Little v. Barreme and Youngstown and Hamdi and Hamdan, or that Mr. Yoo does not understand what they say. Since Mr. Yoo is neither ignorant nor stupid, therefore, when Mr. Yoo claims that the President is not bound by Congressional limits, he... is lying.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Why would a true fanatic crack because of a little physical or mental discomfort if the consequences of talking are eternal damnation?

Because human nature prefers a quick death to lingering pain.

It seems to me that convincing him his cause is wrong is much more likely to elicit useful information than confirming his worst prejudices about westerners.

Yeah good luck with that. I mean really Freder, that's really funny considering how the multi-culti crowd have been beating the drum that no one culture is any better than the other. So telling Abdul the Headhacker that killing infidels isn't nice probably isn't going to go very far. Hell Freder, the very fact that they aren't shot out of hand with pork shoved in their mouth should disprove their worst prejudices but it doesn't.

edutcher said...

Monkeyboy said...

FWIW Imperial Japanese waterboarding (forced injestion and stamping on the stomach) is relatable to US waterbboarding (which we do in training to our own SPECOPS) as modern SuperMax prisons are to the black hole of Calcutta.


Monkey, that's the whole point. Freder and Cook always tell half the story (if that much) and hope nobody knows the rest. Just as Uncle Saul taught, never let the truth get in the way of in the cause.

former law student said...

From Wallach's law review article, the same technique was used by Japan on the Doolittle Raider that was used by the US on KSM:

Captain Nielsen, the U.S. aviator captured by the Japanese in China following the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo,38 detailed the essence of the technique: Well, I was put on my back on the floor with my arms and legs stretched out, one guard holding each limb.
The towel was wrapped around my face and put across my face and water poured on. They poured
water on this towel until I was almost unconscious from strangulation, then they would let up until I’d get my breath, then they’d start over again.39
Descriptions of water boarding as it is apparently currently applied40 differ very little from the techniques applied by the Japanese.


COLUMBIA JOURNAL OF TRANSNATIONAL LAW

Hoosier Daddy said...

From Wallach's law review article, the same technique was used by Japan on the Doolittle Raider that was used by the US on KSM:

Does the law review article divulge what kind of vital intel that Neilsen gave up?

I assume the Japanese were torturing him for information and not just for kicks because they would never had done that.

Ben said...

Wallach's law review article is excellent and frequently cited, but for those who don't want to wade through dozens of pages and hundreds of footnotes, here's Wallach's own summary of that law review article.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201170_pf.html

spongeworthy said...

It is simply impossible that Mr. Yoo is unaware of precedents such as Little v. Barreme and Youngstown...

See, this is why I can't believe you even understand the issue. Take Youngstown: The majority held that only Congress had the power to deal with domestic matters like the economy, that the battlefield doen't extend back to Ohio. Not at issue re: Yoo.

Hamdi was an American citizen.

Hamden was deicided in 2006,three years after Woo had left government for Stanford.

Do better.

Hoosier Daddy said...

that the battlefield doen't extend back to Ohio

Well it might if Freder and Cookie ever have their way.

Ben said...

@spongeworthy . . .

Mr. Yoo argued, this week, that President Obama can do whatever he wants, and that Congress can't limit him except by the power of the purse and by the threat of impeachment.

In making that argument, this week, Mr. Yoo was neither ignorant nor stupid, so he was lying.

As for yourself, I don't have any evidence that you're knowledgable or that you're intelligent, so I don't accuse you of lying.

traditionalguy said...

How is the liberal's war against the American war against terror going? In the meantime a third of all of the casualties in Afghanistan since 2001 have been inflicted on the American forces since Obama raised troop levels there. Why no protests now my dear liberal anti-war friends? Is it time to impeach the war criminal President yet?

Monkeyboy said...

I beleive Asano was the one prosecuted for waterboarding. I've seen claims of someone being hung for waterboarding (and not, say mass starvation or execution of prisoners) but haven't found the specific Japanese officer.

Docket Date: 53/ May 1 - 28, 1947, Yokohama, Japan

Charge: Violation of the Laws and Customs of War: 1. Did willfully and unlawfully mistreat and torture PWs. 2. Did unlawfully take and convert to his own use Red Cross packages and supplies intended for PWs.

Specifications: beating using hands, fists, club; kicking; water torture; burning using cigarettes; strapping on a stretcher head downward


The bottom line is that Asano was not convicted of waterboarding alone, but of a host of abuses of prisoners. He got 15 years.


He was also accused of waterboarding by pouring water directly in the vicims face, the US uses cellophane to ensure that does not happen.

Ben said...

Contrary to Yoo's assertions . . .

It is indeed possible for the president, acting as commander-in-chief, to issue an illegal and invalid military order.

Neither the SecDef, nor any commissioned officer who receives such an order, should obey such an order.

A commissioned officer who obeys an illegal order can be prosecuted - - and this has actually happened (though not often enough).

spongeworthy said...

Mr. Yoo argued, this week, that President Obama can do whatever he wants...

Well, I'd like a cite for that. In Crisis and Command, he argues no such thing, only that law and precedent extend the power of the Executive in matters of war.

I just want to be clear, though, that your argument is not that Yoo should have known his briefs were wrong for the Bush administration because of the cases you cited. It's not, is it?

Do you have any cases to site that would argue against his briefs to the Bush administration?

Robert Cook said...

"...there are hard cases in GTMO still after ten years...."

Hard cases, or hapless innocents who were kidnapped and sold for bounty paid by America for so-called "terrorists?" I don't know and neither do you, as these prisoners have been denied due process. Some may very well be "terrorists," others may be Afghanis who were simply fighting to expel invaders (us) from their country--as I assume all the brave and bloodthirsty torture lovers here would do, if their rhetoric reveals their true measure--while others may remain of those many we know from the military's own statements were innocent of any involvement in fighting or terrorist acts.

Too often when I read the comments on this blog I feel as if I'm exposing myself to the splash and stink of an open sewer.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Some may very well be "terrorists," others may be Afghanis who were simply fighting to expel invaders (us) from their country

Cookie conveniently ignores that those 'terrorists' are the Afghanis who harbored, supported and provided refuge to the 'terrorists' who flew planes into the WTC, Pentagon killing 3000 innocent people and would have had the destroyed the White House had it not been for some bloodthirsty torture lovers who prevented it from happening.

I feel as if I'm exposing myself to the splash and stink of an open sewer.

Funny, I feel the same way about you too.

vet66 said...

Cook;

Then stop 'exposing' yourself. You are endangering the rest of us and empowering the enemy.

spongeworthy said...

I don't know and neither do you, as these prisoners have been denied due process.

They are not entitled to "due process". They are entitled to review, which they get, and many have been released. Why doesn't that ever make it into you people's indictments? What motive to you ascribe to the armed services for keeping these lost lambs?

Why, if justice is running so roughshod over them, are so many released only to return to fight? Wouldn't that speak to errors being made on the other side of your equation?

I understand why those of you perched upon your pile of outrage would feel contaminated by some of the rest of us. But to us sewer dwellers, it seems like you guys are inventing improbable facts, like drowning terrorists and imprisoned shepherds, in order to pose upon your moral perch.

Bruce Hayden said...

No, Yoo's reading of the law was so incompetent that any reasonable lawyer could not have given the advice in good faith. It is though a mob lawyer advised his client how to launder money and the client followed the instructions exactly. The lawyer has become part of the conspiracy.

Let me suggest that you read the Margolis opinion first. Not the politicized conclusion, but the 100+ pages of the opinion.

Bruce Hayden said...

It is the defenders of torture who consistently misstate the law and the pertinent treaties. No matter how many times I state it, it never seems to sink in that the Convention Against Torture protects everybody.

Well, yes and no. And you simplify a lot here, to your apparent advantage. The basic problem with your statement is that it is not clear, and Yoo makes a case, that the techniques asked about by the CIA were not torture under either U.S. or international law.

You may not like that. You may pretend that there was a consensus here outside Kos and liberal law professors. But there wasn't, and still isn't.

Monkeyboy said...

Hard cases, or hapless innocents who were kidnapped and sold for bounty paid by America for so-called "terrorists?"

Lighten up Francis.

No where did I say everyone in GTMO is a terrorist. We have some released, some who give info willingly, and some who have thanked the medical staff for their help and said "but I still want to kill you and your family."

So, yes, there are some subset of Yemeni nationals that were minding their own business in Khost when they were sold to the US.

The main point is still that sitting down and convincing a man that his religion is wrong and he is actually doing the opposite of what God wants him to do is is no way to go about gathering actionable intelligence in the short term.

Freder Frederson said...

You want to demonize Woo for rendering an opinion you don't agree with, but you and others always fail to explain why his opinion is wrong and why his errors, as you see them, are born of evil.

Actually, I have spelled it out in detail repeatedly (with links). You, and others just pretend I don't and bring up the same old tired, invalid arguments and never directly address my points or the applicable statutes and treaties.

Bruce Hayden said...

Pakistan ratified the Geneva Conventions in 1951, four years before the US did. So they have to treat prisoners of war humanely.

We may get to see what that means for them. In any case, these terrorists were caught within their borders, so the law is quite different there.

Plus, you ignore that the rules are far different for illegal combatants as opposed to "prisoners of war". That term is well defined in the Geneva convention, and the terrorists that we and our allies (presumably including Pakistan) have caught are not prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention. They are illegal combatants, who can be shot on the spot.

Freder Frederson said...

The basic problem with your statement is that it is not clear, and Yoo makes a case, that the techniques asked about by the CIA were not torture under either U.S. or international law.

Bullshit.

The basic problem with Yoo's argument is that he contended that torture could be defined as the infliction of extreme physical distress only. When the definitions of torture in international law and U.S. statute also include the use of drugs and the intentional infliction of "severe mental pain or suffering"

Look it up, dumbass.

Freder Frederson said...

The basic problem with your statement is that it is not clear, and Yoo makes a case, that the techniques asked about by the CIA were not torture under either U.S. or international law.

Bullshit.

The basic problem with Yoo's argument is that he contended that torture could be defined as the infliction of extreme physical distress only. When the definitions of torture in international law and U.S. statute also include the use of drugs and the intentional infliction of "severe mental pain or suffering"

Look it up, dumbass.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You, and others just pretend I don't and bring up the same old tired, invalid arguments and never directly address my points or the applicable statutes and treaties.

Here let me give it a shot.

If the Convetion Against Torture means that we aren't allowed to pour water on a some Islamofascist's face, keep him awake for 48 hours, play Madonna real loud and have a hot Army nurse press her voluptous breasts in his face in order to make him divulge information that will save American lives then we should unilaterally shred said convention and reject it outright as detrimental to national security.

How's that? Good enough or should I elaborate?

Bruce Hayden said...

It is simply impossible that Mr. Yoo is unaware of precedents such as Little v. Barreme and Youngstown and Hamdi and Hamdan.

I don't know if you remember this, but we are talking the one Justice concurrence in Youngstown. One out of nine. And if you ever read the concurrence, you will note that there are three prongs. The seizing of domestic steel mills was considered domestic enough that it was within the central powers of Congress. In waging war overseas, we are talking actions deep within the Executive's plenary powers, and thus under a different prong of the concurrence.

Oh, and please check the dates on Hamdi and Hamdan, and compare them to the dates of the memos.

Ger said...

Hoosier Daddy says:

"Oh wait, Imperial Japan didn't sign the Geneva Convention..."

Neither did the US until well after WWII.

So what was your point exactly?

Hoosier Daddy said...

....and the intentional infliction of "severe mental pain or suffering"

Guess that's why they make the prison guards use rubber gloves when handling thier Korans. I know I would be mentally suffering if some pig eating godless son of a whore was touching my sacred book with his fithly hands. Especially if it was a Jew.

Freder Frederson said...

Plus, you ignore that the rules are far different for illegal combatants as opposed to "prisoners of war".

God, how many times do I have to explain this to you dumbasses! When it comes to the use of torture, they aren't. Look up the Convention Against Torture (I am tired of providing a link because apparently none of your right mouse buttons work) and cite me the passage that differentiates between the treatment of illegal combatants and prisoners of war.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Oh wait, Imperial Japan didn't sign the Geneva Convention..."

Neither did the US until well after WWII.

So what was your point exactly?


Actually I was referring to the Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 27 July 1929, of which the United States was a signatory.

I'll assume you were simply ignorant of the fact and not trying to be a snarky ass. If you need further education on the subject, please feel free to contact me. Have a nice day.

Freder Frederson said...

Neither did the US until well after WWII.

God, people on the site are stupid! The first Geneva Conventions were adopted by twelve countries in 1864. The U.S. ratified them in 1882. There were two additional treaties prior to WWII and a fourth ratified in 1949. The U.S. is a signatory to them all.

You really should do a little basic research before you make ignorant statements.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Also, I don't think it needs to be said, but I figure I'll cover all bases since you appear to be a bit slow on this topic. The 1929 Convention was the active Convention at the time WW2 broke out.

The US signed on to Third Geneva Convention in 1949 when it was updated after World War Two.

Bruce Hayden said...

Hard cases, or hapless innocents who were kidnapped and sold for bounty paid by America for so-called "terrorists?" I don't know and neither do you, as these prisoners have been denied due process. Some may very well be "terrorists," others may be Afghanis who were simply fighting to expel invaders (us) from their country--as I assume all the brave and bloodthirsty torture lovers here would do, if their rhetoric reveals their true measure--while others may remain of those many we know from the military's own statements were innocent of any involvement in fighting or terrorist acts.

You could have pretended this was true before Obama was elected. But all of a sudden he found that the people in Gitmo are either hard core, or there is no where we can safely send them, and they are too dangerous to release here.

former law student said...

the passage that differentiates between the treatment of illegal combatants and prisoners of war.

You can scour the Geneva Conventions and never find the words "illegal combatants." There are soldiers and there are civilians. Some civilians are spies and saboteurs.

But even spies and saboteurs are to be treated humanely, and should receive the rights to a fair and regular trial.

Fourth Geneva Convention
Part I : General provisions
ARTICLE 5
Where, in the territory of a Party to the conflict, the latter is satisfied that an individual protected person is definitely suspected of or engaged in activities hostile to the security of the State, such individual person shall not be entitled to claim such rights and privileges under the present Convention as would, if exercised in the favour of such individual person, be prejudicial to the security of such State.
Where in occupied territory an individual protected person is detained as a spy or saboteur, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power, such person shall, in those cases where absolute military security so requires, be regarded as having forfeited rights of communication under the present Convention.
In each case, such persons shall nevertheless be treated with humanity, and in case of trial, shall not be deprived of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed by the present Convention. They shall also be granted the full rights and privileges of a protected person under the present Convention at the earliest date consistent with the security of the State or Occupying Power, as the case may be.

Bruce Hayden said...

God, how many times do I have to explain this to you dumbasses! When it comes to the use of torture, they aren't. Look up the Convention Against Torture (I am tired of providing a link because apparently none of your right mouse buttons work) and cite me the passage that differentiates between the treatment of illegal combatants and prisoners of war.

Apparently, you think that insulting your audience is going to win your argument for you. Or, that refusing to provide links helps either.

There are two different (sets of) treaties involved here. There was a thread on the Geneva Convention. That is a different treaty.

Maybe we all need to specify exactly which treaty we are talking about, because they are quite different.

I should also add that there is no U.S. case law that I am aware of that interprets the torture treaty in the way you are suggesting.

Freder Frederson said...

If the Convetion Against Torture means that we aren't allowed to pour water on a some Islamofascist's face, keep him awake for 48 hours, play Madonna real loud and have a hot Army nurse press her voluptous breasts in his face in order to make him divulge information that will save American lives then we should unilaterally shred said convention and reject it outright as detrimental to national security.

Actually, that's exactly what it means. If you want to continue to bash this country by betraying its principles, then have at it.

I don't know what you think this country stands for. But I don't know where you get off accusing me of bashing this country when you are so willing to discard the principles on which this country was founded because you feel threatened.

As Benjamin Franklin said "Those who are willing to sacrifice their basic liberties to assure their security deserve neither."

Hoosier Daddy said...

But even spies and saboteurs are to be treated humanely, and should receive the rights to a fair and regular trial.

I have no problem with that whatsoever. Humane treatment, trial, execution. When do we start?

Freder Frederson said...

Apparently, you think that insulting your audience is going to win your argument for you. Or, that refusing to provide links helps either.

I have provided links out the ass in the past. Nobody has ever seemed to avail themselves of those links.

Hell, I have even pasted the direct quotes from the pertinent statutes and conventions into the thread. Yet you still claim when it comes to torture, it matters whether the victim is a soldier or an unlawful combatant.

I am frustrated. You won't link, and you won't read it when I paste it here.

You are dumbasses. You keep repeating the same lie.

Robert Cook said...

Why, if justice is running so roughshod over them, are so many released only to return to fight?"

Who? How many? Aside from undocumented claims by the authorities, with the claimed numbers shifting up and down, what information do we have as to released prisoners who "returned to fight?" Of those who may have, how many were fighting before, and how many were driven to fight by our treatment of them?

Actually, anyone in a foreign land fighting us has a right to do so in defense of their own land and society, just as we would claim a right to fight invaders of our country.

Freder Frederson said...

There are two different (sets of) treaties involved here. There was a thread on the Geneva Convention. That is a different treaty.

Actually, they aren't that different. I have challenged anyone (numerous times) to find me the section in the Geneva Conventions where it says that it is okay to mistreat or summarily execute anyone for any reason.

Surprise! Nobody has been able to cite that elusive section yet.

Robert Cook said...

"Funny, I feel the same way about you too."

The difference is, I'm right and you're not; I support rule of law and you don't; I support humane and legal treatment of our prisoners and you favor torture and barbarism.

spongeworthy said...

Who? How many?

Brennan said last week that recidivism runs at abot 20%.

Actually, anyone in a foreign land fighting us has a right to do so in defense of their own land and society...

Would that apply to Iraq? By your logic I would have a right to punch the Russian ambassador in the snoot, as I feel his motives are impure.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I don't know what you think this country stands for. But I don't know where you get off accusing me of bashing this country when you are so willing to discard the principles on which this country was founded because you feel threatened.

Because I feel threatend? Feel? You're an asshole Freder you know that? I as an American didn't feel threatened by Muslim fanatics right up to the point they flew planes into buildings and then watched as they were dancing in the streets and Osama was promising more to come.

As Benjamin Franklin said "Those who are willing to sacrifice their basic liberties to assure their security deserve neither."

Nice try but I'm pretty confident that Ben wasn't thinking of granting Islamic fanatics our basic liberties.

Hey Freder when FDR was ordering the 8th Air Force to incinerate Dresden, Hamburg, Berlin, Kyoto, Tokyo, was that violating our principles too or was it to get rid of a greater evil? Hey why didn't we spend more time trying to tell Hitler and Tojo that their goals were wrong and not confirm their worst prejudices?

Oh wait..we did try to do that and they said fuck you we're going to kill you anyway. The only difference between the evil we were fighting in WW2 and the ones now is that the ones now don't have shiney jackboots but their goal is about the same.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The difference is, I'm right and you're not; I support rule of law and you don't; I support humane and legal treatment of our prisoners and you favor torture and barbarism.

Opinions vary.

Maguro said...

@Cookie - I support humane and legal treatment of our prisoners and you favor torture and barbarism.

Regardless of what you support, captured terrorists are going to be interrogated until they talk. That is just as much a fact today as it was when Bush was in office.

The only question is who will administer the interrogation, the U.S. or a country like Pakistan or Egypt where there are far fewer controls over what interrogators are permitted to do.

edutcher said...

Robert Cook said...

Why, if justice is running so roughshod over them, are so many released only to return to fight?"

...

Actually, anyone in a foreign land fighting us has a right to do so in defense of their own land and society, just as we would claim a right to fight invaders of our country.


Tell that to the Aghans who cheered when we ran out the Taliban.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Cookie, I'll just say that I don't take anyone seriously who refers to "terrorists" in quotes to describe the people who attacked us on 9/11 and the ones that sheltererd and suppored them with a safe haven.

Jason said...

Libtards: "TORTURE IS ILLEGALL!!!"

Conservatives: Waterboarding, as practiced by the CIA, is not torture. Here's why.

Libtards, totally missing the point, as usual: BUT YOU'RE CONDONING TORTURE!!!!

Here's the deal: In 2003, you couldn't summarily execute a detainee, legal combatant or not. Same now.

You couldn't torture a detainee, legal or otherwise. Same now, because of both the Geneva conventions and the torture treaty.

But a government has sovereignty, and is free to torture its own citizens, provided they are illegal combatants and don't fall under Geneva protections. Thus, Pakistan can torture the fuck out of Al Qaeda it captures in its own country (but not so much out of Afghanistan, because of the treaties.)

In the US, in 2001-2003 you could waterboard someone, because waterboarding was not adjudged to be torture. You couldn't do it to a legal combatant, because of Geneva but you could do it to an illegal one.

You can never summarily execute a detainee, legal or otherwise, but you can try them for crimes and then if found guilty, execute them for that. Due process ONLY adheres to those charged with specific crimes.

Here's what libtards can't comprehend: Just because you are detained does not entitle you to due process. Combatants are ONLY entitled to due process when being charged with specific crimes. There is NO entitlement to due process with regard to the decision to continue to detain combatants, legal or otherwise. None. Only drooling ignorant libtards believe there is. There's never been an entitlement to due process to justify detention of a combatant. That's the most thick-headed argument in the history of man, but leave it to libtards to embrace it.

The US can't torture. Anyone. Waterboarding was among a list of techniques that were specifically reviewed and found not to be torture, at the time. People can disagree, but that doesn't change the fact that the government adjudged waterboarding illegal combatants as legal.

The US can't rendition anyone to the custody of agencies that we believe will torture. But here's the rub: If Pakistanis capture him, we aren't engaging in rendition. We can be present and all we are is witnesses, not criminals. The CIA agent present at the torture of a Pakistani Al Qaeda operative has no authority whatsoever to override the sovereignty of the Pakistani government and dictate what they can and can't do to their criminals. That's a function of Pakistani law. He's there as a guest. He has no power to intervene. Only a libtard would try to prosecute him merely for being present.

spongeworthy said...

Basically, we're being asked to take Freder's word against Yoo's, knowing that Yoo will have cites and history to back his brief and Freder will have his...opinion.

If you waterboard your own SEALs, you have a strong argument that waterboarding doesn't cause "severe mental pain". What argument do our betters here, posing flatulently, have to counter it?

Why would someone arguing that we do not torture our armed forces, therefore waterboarding is not torture, be not only wrong but evil?

Ben said...

What did Margolis really say?

John Yoo wrote, "OPR's investigation was so biased, so flawed, and so beneath the Justice Department's own standards that last week the department's ranking civil servant and senior ethicist, David Margolis, completely rejected its recommendations."

Yes, David Margolis did reject OPR's recommendations.

But David Margolis wrote that it was "a close question" and Margolis approvingly quoted Goldsmith's opinion that Yoo's shoddy legal work was motivated by Yoo's extreme ideology, not by Yoo's alleged criminal intent.

Hardly a complete vindication.

David Margolis wrote, "Finally, because OPR found that Yoo engaged in intentional misconduct, I more fully address his intent below. [...] OPR concluded that the memos [...] evidenced Yoo's 'desire to accommodate the client' and the preponderance of evidence showed that Yoo knowingly failed to provide thorough, objective and candid advice [...] In his book, Goldsmith was highly critical of the opinions in keeping with his withdrawal of them. [...] [Goldsmith] further observed, 'The poor quality [...] is probably attributable to some combination of the fear that pervaded the executive branch, pressure from the White House, and Yoo's unusually expansive and self-confident conception of presidential power.' [...] For all of the above reasons, I am not prepared to conclude that the circumstantial evidence much of which is contradicted by the witness testimony regarding Yoo's efforts establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that Yoo intentionally or recklessly provided misleading advice to his client. It is a close question. I would be remiss in not observing, however, that these memoranda represent an unfortunate chapter in the history of the Office of Legal Counsel. While I have declined to adopt OPR's finding of misconduct, I fear that John Yoo's loyalty to his own ideology and convictions clouded his view of his obligation to his client and led him to adopt opinions that reflected his own extreme, albeit sincerely held, views of executive power while speaking for an institutional client."

Bruce Hayden said...

Actually, they aren't that different. I have challenged anyone (numerous times) to find me the section in the Geneva Conventions where it says that it is okay to mistreat or summarily execute anyone for any reason.

On the other hand, you also won't be able to show where it says that illegal combatants are to be treated as humanely as prisoners of war.

Why? I presume it is that illegal combatants are not covered by the treaty.

Illegal combatants are shot routinely on the battle field. This has been true for millenia (ok, not shot until recently, but otherwise executed). At least if we catch them within the U.S., in recent time (i.e. WWII), we gave them military trials before executing them. This goes back in our country at least as far as our Revolution, when the British officer, out of uniform, who had received the plans to West Point, was executed after a quick trial by Washington and his generals. He was out of uniform, and so was not protected by the Rules of War.

WV: Thing - a real word for once.

Bruce Hayden said...

Actually, anyone in a foreign land fighting us has a right to do so in defense of their own land and society...

This is a very slippery slope. Keep in mind first that al Qaeda went to war with us, and not the other way around. And the Taliban was given the choice of giving up al Qaeda, or having us come in there to (hopefully, some day) do it ourselves. By protecting al Qaeda in Afghanistan, the Taliban picked sides there.

So, does it make sense for Afghans who side with either the Taliban or al Qaeda to say, but I am just defending my homeland? Would that have helped Germans in the SS after we crossed in Germany in early 1945? I doubt it.

But also keep in mind that, despite the best efforts of those on the left to confuse the issues by pointing at those few (likely long former) detainees who were given up to us by opponents, the reality is that a large number of those captured, held, and possibly sent to Club Gitmo (distinct majority there were not), were not Afghans, but rather pretty much anything else in the Moslem world.

former law student said...

If you waterboard your own SEALs, you have a strong argument that waterboarding doesn't cause "severe mental pain".

Big difference between someone who volunteered to be part of an elite military force, and someone captured by his enemy. Navy SEALS have every reason to believe that however unpleasant the treatment, their comrades in arms will not kill them. Detainees have no such assurance.

SEALS are an elite group whose training is very expensive -- Uncle Sam is not deliberately going to waste assets like that while they're still being trained.

Further, the SEAL is in control while the detainee is not. A SEAL can bail at any time -- the worst thing that can happen to him is that he's no longer a SEAL. In contrast, the detainee has no control over any aspect of his life in detention.

Now, why are SEALS waterboarded? Waterboarding is one of the techniques used by North Koreans and by Vietnamese on US military to get them to confess. These are harsh Communist interrogation techniques, or in other words, torture. The purpose of using such techniques is to show our elite military that they can resist torture.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/14/

opinion/14blochemarks.html

former law student said...

Why? I presume it is that illegal combatants are not covered by the treaty.

Bruce, you should read my comments once in a while.

Everybody is covered by the Geneva Conventions. Treatment of what Bruce calls "illegal combatants" is covered under the Fourth Geneva Convention, Part I,
Article 5

Bruce Hayden said...

The difference is, I'm right and you're not; I support rule of law and you don't; I support humane and legal treatment of our prisoners and you favor torture and barbarism.

I will agree to the extent that I approve of the torture of the person who planned 9/11 that killed some 3,000+ Americans (ignoring the additional Americans who died as a result of the war that he helped instigate). I, along with likely a distinct majority of Americans, just wish that his torture had not been limited by, for example, those memos. But, unfortunately, the level of "torture" applied to the three terrorists who were "tortured" was significantly limited as to type and extent, and to the sole purpose of acquiring important intelligence information.

Let's be clear. What you support is the "Rule of Law" as you, and those on the left (including much of the legal academic community) define the laws and where it is convenient. But where were you when President Obama was illegally giving priority to union pensions over secured creditors in the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies? Or, indeed, that an admitted tax cheat is running Treasury, and the AG dismissed charges against the New Black Panthers after they had admitted culpability? Or, when Bill Clinton committed a crime by falsely testifying under oath to a grand jury?

I could go on, but my point is that when liberals bleat about "Rule of Law", you need to keep in mind that their view of this is typically very biased and self-serving.

Robert Cook said...

"Brennan said last week that recidivism runs at abot 20%."

Brennan could be pulling that figure out of his ass; you don't know and I don't know. Lacking documentation, we must assume our govt. doesn't know what they're talking about or that they're lying.

If true, that's pretty low given how many years these men were held prisoner for no reason; kinda makes you think MOST OF THEM WERE AND ARE INNOCENT.

Bruce Hayden said...

Big difference between someone who volunteered to be part of an elite military force, and someone captured by his enemy. Navy SEALS have every reason to believe that however unpleasant the treatment, their comrades in arms will not kill them. Detainees have no such assurance.

My memory is that the SEARE/Seal training was not discussed in the memos (including that by Margolis) because of that, but rather, that Yoo, et al. had reason to believe from that training that any effect would be transitory. That is a different prong of the torture test.

Robert Cook said...

"I, along with likely a distinct majority of Americans...."

If a majority supports barbarism and cruelty, that makes such practices no less barbaric and cruel, no more tolerable, and no more legal if the law prohibits it, as it does in the case of torture.

spongeworthy said...

In contrast, the detainee has no control over any aspect of his life in detention.

You cite an opinion piece from the NYT written by two lawyers who have no more information about the EIT's than we do. Yet they acknowledge that prisoners were de-stressed when they began providing information. So the detainee does have control over the stress process.

What's more, your sources call these EIT's "tantamount to torture", not torture. So you have two guys who are plainly opposed to EIT's and the best they can conclude is "tantamount".

Yet Yoo is wrong, stupid, lying and evil for arguing that waterboarding is not torture?

Cedarford said...

FLS - "Saying that the Miranda decision was correct does not mean we approve of thugs who kidnap, rob, and rape young women."

----------
Nor, am I sure, does your concern for enemy rights mean that you endorse Islamoids flying planes into our buildings, taking no prisoners except to stage terror video executions...or of course deliberately targeting civilians.

But the problem is that by over-emphasizing criminal or enemy combatant rights over the rights of law-abiding citizens to enjoy THEIR rights....liberals are saying those criminal or enemy rights matter more than the core liberties and rights of the rest of us.
And I think outside the progressive Jews of the ACLU, the "human rights legal action groups" and certain Mumia and terrorist admirers - we prefer the rights of a family and seeking justice for them if all their rights are taken by rape or murder - than the due process rights of 2 animalistic home invaders or car jackers.

And we feel the rights of American citizens and others who did no harm have a RIGHT not to be killed or maimed by high level Islamoid butchers - if we can discomfort them enough to make them reveal the plots that intended to kill thousands more after 9/11. The rights of thousands to not have ALL their civil liberties destroyed in death of maiming disablement do indeed trump the right of an enemy Islamoid unlwful combatant to ANY accomodation of his "liberties."

And no, there is no such thing as "innocent until proven guilty pending trial" in military conflict. War is all about taking out or controlling the enemy combatants whether they are coming at you or running away or you find them in their sleep or blissfully unaware that 40 or so of them got nabbed by thermal imagery and they have about 6 minutes of life left or having a fully intact body. As you have just had your strike target proposal approved and being acted on by an inbound F-16 with two cluster bombs.

And war, without deliberately directing weaponry on solely enemy non-combatants, nevertheless seeks to make life for such non-soldiers miserable enough that their enthusiasm for handing guns and resources to previous non-combatants that they desist.

There really is no such thing as an "innocent civilian" in war no more than there is such a thing as "guilty soldiers". There are subsets who commit civilian crimes, and those who commit war crimes against civilian law.
But in general, few in war have their fate resolved by lawyers dressed in robes..

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'd be happy to forego 'enhanced interrogation techniques' if the administration would let the military fight Islamic terrorism in the same manner the Greatest Generation defeated the Nazis and Imperial Japan. I mean its not like the ideologies are dissimilar.

Bruce Hayden said...

It is indeed possible for the president, acting as commander-in-chief, to issue an illegal and invalid military order.

Neither the SecDef, nor any commissioned officer who receives such an order, should obey such an order.

A commissioned officer who obeys an illegal order can be prosecuted - - and this has actually happened (though not often enough)
.

But they had better be pretty sure that the order was illegal, because otherwise he is likely to be court martialed. And in the case of the President, in ordering, for example, "torture", this is extremely problematic.

Why? After all, the liberal anti-war establishment has assured us that the President would need to conform to laws passed by Congress under the Youngstown concurrence. But, as I noted earlier, the concurrence laid out a three prong test, and seizing steel mills was clearly domestic, and thus well within Congress' plenary powers. Not so for day-to-day fighting of a war. That is well into the strongest area of Executive power, and falls under another of the Youngstown prongs. (BTW - this says nothing about violation of individual Constitutional Rights, which can trump both Congress and the Executive).

spongeworthy said...

If true, that's pretty low given how many years these men were held prisoner for no reason; kinda makes you think MOST OF THEM WERE AND ARE INNOCENT.

I cannot believe this is a serious comment. You have turned logic on its ear.

Bruce Hayden said...

If a majority supports barbarism and cruelty, that makes such practices no less barbaric and cruel, no more tolerable, and no more legal if the law prohibits it, as it does in the case of torture.

My point there is that we do (or at least did until Obama was elected) have a country based on Rules of Law. We would have liked to have tortured the guy who planned 9/11 as that term has been defined down through the ages, to the point of his demise. But we didn't. You may not see the difference, but there is a huge one. The alleged torture was not done to punish him, but rather limited to acquiring important intelligence at a time when our intelligence agencies were predicting further attacks, as well as strictly limited in scope and type.

edutcher said...

former law student said...

If you waterboard your own SEALs, you have a strong argument that waterboarding doesn't cause "severe mental pain".

Big difference between someone who volunteered to be part of an elite military force, and someone captured by his enemy.


The terrorists are soldiers for Allah, aren't they? They volunteered to go in harm's way to kill infidels, didn't they?

Cedarford said...

More liberal drivel:

"former law student said...
Waterboarding was torture when we prosecuted Japanese soldiers for waterboarding Doolittle Raider Chase Nielsen."

The Japs used water torture (aka the "water treatment" more than waterboarding. The Japs convicted in this case also pulled the guys figernails out, stubbed cigarettes out, beat him unconscious several times, used humiliating demeaning language, slapped him, used actual water torture, fed him cruddy food, stole his red cross care packages, waterboarded him.
All part of a general "mistreatment package".

However, Lefties who cite this as a talking point PROVING waterboarding was considered torture do so only be "extracting" that act from all the stuff the Japs did.
It is as wrong to say it "proves" waterboarding is torure as feeding rotten food, slapping, taking red cross goodies, or using "humiliating language" - if they were extracted in isolation.

Of course, even this year under Obama as CiC, thousands of Americans have been "tortured by waterboarding" at SERE or other Fed agent schools. Cops tasered as a required part of training..

Yet Obama keeps it up and signifies in doing so that even he cannot back what the people blubbering about "the precious rights and comforts of poor Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was deprived of.

He kills Islamoids without trial, sometimes in their sleep. He waterboards thousands of US soldiers, stopped some of - as Rahm would say - "Fucking retard liberal" witchhunts. And of course continued to use the other nations really tough Islamoid interrogation programs the John Yoos predecessors in Clinton's Admin set up to beat the truth out of deadly Islamoids by Rendition - just drop them off in Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Panama, or the Philippines. Come back in a few weeks and you have a marvelously truthful and cooperative Islamoid.

And even though Lefties and progressive Jews are dutifully silent about Obama having to do things they were "shocked and aghast at over Chimpy McHitlerburton and the demonic Cheney" over - the very fact he is doing them proves the enemy rights lovers - "fuckin' retards".

Ger said...

HD says:

"Actually I was referring to the Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 27 July 1929, of which the United States was a signatory."

See... a little specificity never hurts.

Since we're being specific - technically, Japan was also a signatory to the 1929 POW Convention. They just never got around to ratifying it.

So... the US signed AND ratified the 1929 POW Convention but now it tortures captives and it is ok to rationalize that away somehow.

Got it - thanks for the education!

Robert Cook said...

"My point there is that we do (or at least did until Obama was elected) have a country based on Rules of Law."

WTF? You think Bush/Cheney observed the rule of law? And that Obama has somehow come in and swept their law-abiding retstraint out the window? Were you in a coma throughout the last nine years? Are you in a coma now?

It is in his following the lead and the lawless policies of Bush/Cheney that Obama has gone wrong, and has become himself a war criminal.

We would have liked to have tortured the guy who planned 9/11 as that term has been defined down through the ages, to the point of his demise. But we didn't. You may not see the difference, but there is a huge one. The alleged torture was not done to punish him, but rather limited to acquiring important intelligence at a time when our intelligence agencies were predicting further attacks, as well as strictly limited in scope and type."

There is no justification for torture of any kind under the law, and torturing a prisoner in order to obtain information is specifcally prohibited.

http://www.oas.org/juridico/English/Treaties/a-51.html

Monkeyboy said...

The purpose of using such techniques is to show our elite military that they can resist torture.

Yes, but we don't hang them by their elbows or drill holes in their kneecaps.

I would also say that any Jihadi knows that the US is not going to kill them, and the point, a stated by the numerous hippies who have waterboarded each other, is that your body doesn't know you aren't going to die, even if your mind knows you wont.

For extra fun, ask a SEAL to tell you about "the first time he drowned in training."

Bruce Hayden said...

http://www.oas.org/juridico/English/Treaties/a-51.html

I suspect that you didn't check the link on Signatories and Ratifications on the bottom of the page. If you had, you might have noticed that something was glaringly missing (hint - check and see what countries did not ratify the treaty, and, in particular, note the country 3rd from the bottom).

Robert Cook said...

My mistake; I thought I had found the text of the UN Convention against torture, which is found here:

http://www.hrweb.org/legal/cat.html

You'll note it contains essentially the same prohibitions...and we are signatories to this.

AllenS said...

From my bunker in western WI, I can hear the screams coming from the torture chambers in Pakistan. And I think....go get em boys! Today, Taliban. Tomorrow, Freder, R. Cook.

Ben said...

Earlier, at 2/24/10 12:43 PM . . .
. . . Bruce Hayden said . . .
"I don't know if you remember this, but we are talking the one Justice concurrence in Youngstown. One out of nine."

* * * * *

I don't know if you remember this, but Rehnquist incorporated Jackson's framework into the decision in Dames & Moore v. Regan, 453 U.S. 654 (1981).

http://laws.findlaw.com/us/453/654.html

* * * * *

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/09/AR2006010900755.html

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Judge Samuel Alito's Nomination to the Supreme Court

SPECTER: Justice Jackson wrote, quote, "When the president acts pursuant to an express or implied authorization of Congress, his authority is at its maximum for it includes all that he possesses in his own right and all that Congress can delegate. When the president acts in absence of a congressional grant of authority, he can rely only upon his own independent powers. When the president takes measures incompatible with the express or implied will of Congress, his power is at its lowest ebb." And as Justice Jackson noted, quote, "What is at stake is the equilibrium established in our constitutional system."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/10/AR2006011000781.html

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Judge Samuel Alito's Nomination to the Supreme Court

SPECTER: Judge Alito, I want to turn now to executive power and ask you first if you agree with the quotation from Justice Jackson's concurrence in the Youngstown Steel seizure case about the evaluation of presidential power that I cited yesterday.

ALITO: I do. I think it provides a very useful framework. And it has been used by the Supreme Court in a number of important subsequent cases: in the Dames and Moore case, for example, involving the release of the hostages from Iran. And it doesn't answer every question that comes up in this area, but it provides a very useful way of looking at them.

From Inwood said...

Is this thread still open?

From Inwood said...

Good grief. This has devolved into the umpteenth dumbed-down thread about Torture.

Bruce Hayden, Jayson, & Cedarford (with his usual anti-Semitism, alas) have held the fort, so to speak, quite well.

But I note that the Left or the moral preeners, who think they’ve found the Rosetta Stone of Torture law that none of us knew about, keep talking down to us & telling us to read statutes, treaties, etc., when it’s obvious that they have never read the US Torture statute, the OPR’s sloppy multi-year attempt to embarrass the Bush Administration (BDS), the cruel & unsual cases under the VIII Amendment, the full exoneration buDeputy AG Margolis, as well as former Attorney General Mukasey and Deputy Attorney General Filip “shredding” of OPR's hit job
http://www2.nationalreview.com/dest/2010/02/20/description011909.mukaseyfiliplettertoopr.pdf

The simplistic idea of the impenetrable Left is that The Bush “Regime” was guilty of “torture” in the interrogation of prisoners. And that aliens from Klingon who have never set foot on Earth are entitled to provisions of Constitutional Law not found in the Constitution itself or SCOTUS cases. And that all “civilized” people agree with them.

And yes, commenters are entitled to their own opinion, to their own urban legends, to their moral preening, & to their own idea of what the law shoudda been, but not to their own facts or their own version of what the law, or its "penumbras" and "emanations", was or is now. And the idea that only those who agree with these commenters are “civilized” & that all civilized people agree with these commenters is Pauline Kael Factor 101.

But using, as they do, such phrases as "violations of the Geneva Conventions”, “The U.S. Constitution”, “common law”, “international law”, “the Ten Commandments”, “the Koran”, or The Karma Sutra”(OOPS, forget that last one), is simply an attempt to give a legal veneer to such feeeeelings, O, O, feeeeelings that "the U.S. was engaging in the interrogation of prisoners in a manner which they don’t like”.
And using dictionary definitions, something from an “ethicist”, or something from some cleric’s Sunday sermon does nothing to advance the Legal/Military debate.

But, hey, here’s one for them: The New Yorker has a recent article “Hellhole - The United States holds tens of thousands of inmates in long-term solitary confinement. Is this torture?”
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/03/30/090330fa_fact_gawande

The author states (& these words are used as a caption to a drawing of an obviously distressed, naked, bent over man) “POWs have reported that the simple experience of isolation is as much of an ordeal as any physical abuse they have suffered”

Is isolation torture? Yes, but only if it is under the authority of the administration, OOPS, Regime of a leader with an (R) following his Name.

(To be continued)

From Inwood said...

(continued)
Oh, but the BDS folks, apparently thinking themselves safe from further attacks by, what used to be called terrorists, know torture when they see it. Now the loony Left sites have alerted the great thinkers to the UNCAT I “definition” of “torture” & the, shall we say, “things not quite ‘torture’, but not quite nice” in UNCAT Art XVI. What? UNCAT I doesn’t define torture except by synonym, “severe pain or suffering” And these folks have no idea of how the US, in its express reservation when agreeing to UNCAT, viewed Art XVI as recapitulating the “cruel and unusual” clause in the U.S. Constitution, the SCOTUS interpretations of which clause are, to say the least, “meandering”.

And they ignore the Bush “Regime’s” (Yoo & Barbee’s) argument that The CIA's use of waterboarding was legal and not torture, because it was a "procedure subject to strict limitations and safeguards" that made it substantially different from historical uses of water as torture by the Japanese which the moral preeners equate (hey, they forgot the Spanish Inquisition). I do not think that they know the meaning of that word.

I would only add that for some superficial souls, life is always moot court or Nancy Grace where experts handle matters by mouthing Bumper Sticker pious incantations of their idea of the Constitution or a law, rule, or reg. My Bumper sticker answer here: The Constitution is not a suicide pact. And, UNCAT has not given the squeamish a blank check to declare every discomforting thing as torture.

These impressionable, emotional folks want to engage in, er, enchanting, emotional, breathless wonderment about life’s realities; they want, unaccountably, to “define torture up”, to paraphrase Krauthammer’s memorable phrase. Thus, for them, “Torture = harsh”, rough”, stern”, or even “things we don’t do, my dears”. I suggest that they meet & hash this out in their Church/Synagogue/Mosque’s Peace & Social Justice committee & pass ever so many resolutions incorporating their feelings.

And as some also have noted, in the case of our enemies, moral preeners Define Torture Down, to paraphrase Daniel Moynihan. What happened to Daniel Pearl was not Torture, you see. Anyway, who are you to judge? You know, Root Causes. Who are you to say that these poor Middle Easterners aren’t justified at some level in this capitalist world of Big Oil, justified, that is, in striking out for their idea of justice? It’s very complex & confusing; Poverty causes beheading.

This a case for one of those Unthink Tanks like The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, which espouses, among other Big Things, “The Twelve Steps (really) to Restore Checks and Balances”, which they apparently feel the Bush Regime shredded (but which The Obama Administration see as a re-naming opportunity):

“Executive Privilege. Extraordinary Rendition. Secret legal opinions. Warrantless wiretapping. Indefinite detention. Suspension of habeas corpus. America's system of checks and balances is eroding, upsetting the delicate balance of power set forth in the Constitution. Twelve Steps (really!)to Restore Checks and Balances proposes specific reforms designed to keep the nation secure and free, as the Constitution's framers intended."

They forgot to mention secret sharp-shooting at scurvy pirates without court order, but I’m sure they’ll add that.

And “Extraordinary Rendition”. Great. Let’s out Bill Clinton in the dock on that while we’re at it.

From Inwood said...

(continued)

Re the desire to have a Banana Republic trial against members of the Bush “Regime”, do we go after Slick Willie for his Extraordinary Renditions & do we add all the Dems who approved of the 2002 EITs before they disapproved of them? Like Shakespeare’s Henry V, "in peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility". In the case of a war, a just one, sometimes sensible strong people use techniques that "imitate the actions of the tiger; stiffen up the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage & Then lend the eye a terrible aspect”.

So, such techniques & the people using them must be judged by the time in which they were used. What was happening then? Would The Anointed One or his current AG have taken the pious position they are now taking? If so, could they have & survived in office? We, as a nation have never, ex post-facto, condemned wartime actions when they’d been officially-sanctioned at the highest levels by members of the major Political Parties. Historians may, academics may, bloggers may, but not future Administrations.

And I don’t want us to confuse information produced from Military Intelligence Gathering with evidence appropriate to be introduced in a Civilian or Military court for purposes of a conviction. EITs are for MI Gathering in situations concerning credible threats to the Country’s security, its continuance as a Nation. EITs are not a technique for a beleaguered constable who can’t find any evidence for a criminal trial.

Let me spell it out for the trolls: none of the info obtained only from the coercive EIT methods described would be allowed as evidence for conviction of the perp in a military court or civilian court trial. Ya see, then it wouldn’t be what we refer to as a trial! And, if a confession or other evidence which the prosecutor intends to use against a defendant in a criminal trial were proven to have been coerced, such defendant does not have a further burden of proving that such coercion amounted to “torture”.

The Law of War hasn’t changed. Just Administrations.

And I guess it’s wrong to go to war & kill people without a trial.

And apparently it’s OK to kill people with drones & possibly attack them for their nukes without a trial if you’re the Pres & have a (D) after your name.

I'm reminded of a rancorous citizens' meeting I attended in Forest Hills (NY) HS at the time of the Son of Sam killings. (The late 1970s.) Speakers included an articulate PD rep as well as all our politicians except for our US Senators. We didn't know if this was one nut or a series of copycat nuts. We just knew that (& no criticism, for they were working night & day on this) the police were not stopping the killings. Someone had just been killed on the street on which I walked home from the subway about 1 hour after I'd passed the spot. For me it was personal. Anyway, there was one older guy who said that he was a Holocaust survivor & that we couldn't use Nazi or jackboot tactics on suspects. I think it fair to say that the audience was not in agreement even though I suspect that many there were holocaust survivors or had relatives who were.

Another lawyers' bumper sticker: Hard cases make bad law.

Hey, put me down as against Nazi jackboot stuff.

But that's Crim Law 101. As many have noted, if we have to Mirandize every prisoner of war on the foreign battlefield & videotape captures, we are not fighting wars as wars.

Jason said...

Ever notice that we never seem to see Inwood and Sir Archy in the same place at the same time?

Bruce Hayden said...

Everybody is covered by the Geneva Conventions. Treatment of what Bruce calls "illegal combatants" is covered under the Fourth Geneva Convention, Part I,
Article 5
.

If you want to believe that, then fine. The problem is that you are considering illegal combatants (who disregard the Laws of War, and in particular the very same Geneva Conventions) as civilians because they are not officially combatants.

In other words, you are claiming that the fact that they exploit the fact that they intentionally do not identify themselves as combatants by, for example, wearing uniforms, and so can sneak up on legal combatants, but then disappear back into the civilian populace, should be to their advantage, not disadvantage. They should be given every right that the real civilians have.

But the reason that over the millenia, they have not been treated as civilians, but much lower than legal combatants, is that if the contrary were the policy, then there would be no reason for soldiers to ever wear uniforms, if they were to be treated better not wearing uniforms, etc., than if they did. But then, not being able to distinguish between combatants and innocent civilians, the tendency would be to shoot them all indiscriminately.

The purpose of the Fourth Convention is to protect innocent civilians, just as the first three were to protect legal combatants. It was not to protect combatants pretending to be civilians, which is what you seem to be asserting.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Since we're being specific - technically, Japan was also a signatory to the 1929 POW Convention. They just never got around to ratifying it.

Which is the equivalent of saying the check is in the mail.

So... the US signed AND ratified the 1929 POW Convention but now it tortures captives and it is ok to rationalize that away somehow.

Yes because Islamic terrorists aren't classified as POWs. Just like the Grief Commandos (just for your edification; they were Nazi commandos dressed up like GIs, MPs to be specific, during the Battle of the Bulge and directed our boys into ambushes. Most were caught and summarily executed, as saboteurs.)

Got it - thanks for the education!

Anytime pal. Liberal and stupid is no way to go through life.

From Inwood said...

Jason

Not sure of your point....

Oh, I wrote too much. Ha Ha.

OK, you brought it home in about 400 words.

I did four long, but pithy, packed, witty, learned submissions totaling about 2,000 words with no pleonasm & the hit & run Libs do 40emotional, 100 word, repetitious, content-free shorter rants.

Just call me "former literary student"!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Since we're being specific - technically, Japan was also a signatory to the 1929 POW Convention. They just never got around to ratifying it.

I though this beared repeating. Yes its understandable they 'never got around to ratifying it' since things like starting a world war and going on a murder rampage through Asia would tend to get in the way of such things like signing treaties.

Hey, maybe when the Islamic terrorists start acting like civilized human beings maybe we can treat them that way? How's that sound?

Jason said...

No, your post was great!

I was riffing on some of your capitalization quirks and your use of parenthetical phrases, which seems very Archy-ish.

It was long, but not too long for its purpose. And I think your point was dead on.

former law student said...

former Attorney General Mukasey and Deputy Attorney General Filip “shredding” of OPR's hit job

Said shredding, composed one year ago:

1. Yoo and Bybee were under extreme time pressure, having had only 16 weeks to produce their memos. In contrast, OPR had 4.5 years to come up with their report on their work.

2. Citing from unpublished opinions would have been the worse breach of ethics.

3. Where's the proof Yoo and Bybee were just telling their boss what he wanted to hear? They said they were not trying to reach a foreordained conclusion, didn't they?

4. One ethicist OPR says Yoo and Bybee should have cited wasn't even a lawyer.

Bruce, my post of 12:58, right above one of yours: Treatment of suspected spies and saboteurs.

Ben said...

From Inwood said... "My Bumper sticker answer here: The Constitution is not a suicide pact."

* * * * *

Cicero wrote the same bumper sticker and made it sound classier by writing it in Latin: "Silent enim leges inter arma." (From a defense summation speech prepared by Cicero for a trial in 52 B.C.) But then, reportedly, Cicero had second thoughts and omitted that bumper sticker slogan when he delivered the speech. The jury in 52 B.C. didn't buy Cicero's shiny argument, and voted to convict. Later, in 44 B.C., Cicero completely contradicted that bumper sticker and wrote a strong case for the rule of law in time of war.

* * * * *

Scalia responded to that bumper sticker in 2004.

laws.findlaw.com/us/542/507.html

June 28, 2004

Justice Scalia, with whom Justice Stevens joins, dissenting.

[...]

The Founders well understood the difficult tradeoff between safety and freedom. "Safety from external danger," Hamilton declared,

      "is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war; the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty, to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they, at length, become willing to run the risk of being less free." The Federalist No. 8, p. 33.

The Founders warned us about the risk, and equipped us with a Constitution designed to deal with it.

      Many think it not only inevitable but entirely proper that liberty give way to security in times of national crisis--that, at the extremes of military exigency, inter arma silent leges. Whatever the general merits of the view that war silences law or modulates its voice, that view has no place in the interpretation and application of a Constitution designed precisely to confront war and, in a manner that accords with democratic principles, to accommodate it.

- - Justice Scalia, June 28, 2004

From Inwood said...

Bruce

It's a waste of time to deal with these folks, here your dead on analysis of the Geneva Conventions.

Next they'll be bring up the US Const, Amendments V, VI, & VIII , as covering these guys from the time of their surrender!

Oh, wait, that’s the position of the Hon Holder. Hell, the whole Bill of Rights. They, the Honorable Progresives will show the whole world. They’re better than they are. (HUH?) And better than you are.

The One & his epigoni have the moral high ground & you don’t.

What

-ACORN & little girls from Central America.
-the thugs in Philly threatening voters with violence?
- SEIU beating up the Black Guy at the Tea Party.

Nevermind. Repeat after me: The One has the moral high ground & don’t you forget it.

Next they'll be telling us that Cicero (talk about Sir Archy!) & Scalia (a lawfirm in Little Italy?) are on Holder’s side & want the Bill of Rights to apply to these “criminal warlike” guys when they raise their hands in surrender. Military Intelligence? An oxymoron, Heh, Heh (more argument by Bumper Sticker). Oh, wait…

Obama said in his inaugural speech that we must "reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals." That’s why "scrappleface" has a satire entitled “War On Terror' Ends, Obama Starts 'Case Against Terror’ ”. Some of us don’t think this Left/Liberal/Progressive approach is a good one with respect to the “our safety” part.

We claim Cicero & Scalia for our side in the Bumper Sticker War!

BTW, I thought that “the Rule of Law” was a bad Bumper Sticker in Election 2000. Count all the terrorists as under the Constitution.

From Inwood said...

OK, I can’t resist

Cicero wrote the same bumper sticker and made it sound classier by writing it in Latin.

Ben: Look up “Bathos” in your dictionary!

From Inwood said...

Cicero, the lawyer, wrote in Latin:
“let’s have a trial in Old Manhattan”!

From Inwood said...

No wonder fls failed.

"Briefing" cases is hard, because first you have to understand what has been written & all of what has been written.

So, apparently, is making a fair summary of a 14-page letter written in plain English.

Reminds me of Woody Allen:
I took a speed-reading course and read “War and Peace” in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.

From Inwood said...

Jason

Thanks.

For a moment, I thought that I did't stand a ghost of a chance with you.

From Inwood said...

Last Bumper Sticker:

Moral preening is easy & has power over weak minds.

AllenS said...

I want to give a big thank you to POTUS Obama and his administration for having the sense to have these prisoners interrogated in Pakistan. We're getting far better results than when that pussy, Bush was POTUS. Do you know that we've caught more Taliban higherups in the last year, than the previous eight? Did you hear that? I think I just heard one of them scream.

Robert Cook said...

http://harpers.org/archive/2010/02/hbc-90006597

Scott Horton at Harper's discusses Margolises' "clearing" of Yoo and Bybee and shows that my own earlier stated suspicion about his barely-there "vindication" being bullshit, a fix, appears to be correct.

Michael said...

Cook: Harpers!!! I had no idea they still published. Good find.
So, to be clear, the Obama administration "fixed" the outcome of the investigation they launched against Yoo? Wonder where I could find a copy of Harpers to check this out.

AllenS said...

Nobody will ever torture Cook to find out what he knows. The answer is obvious.

WV: vights

You ave no vights!

Robert Cook said...

Michael,

You merely need to check the link I provided; Horton's article is online.

You don't actually think Obama wants to investigate or, heaven forfend, actually prosecute anyone for their part in our country's torture program, do you?

You do know, don't you, that the barely noticeable actions that have been made toward "looking into" all that unpleasantness has been begrudging, at best, and largely intended only as political theater, right?

Oh, how quaint, (to use Yoo's term), how refreshing, even, to find someone, especially someone whom I assume does not support Obama, who might actually suppose Obama has any interest in acting in opposition to the Washington establishment or to the administration that preceded his, or to bringing them to any kind of reckoning for their crimes.

Ha! He's just a whore like all the rest, (to quote a book title from music writer R.Meltzer).

AllenS said...

If a whore can catch the bad guys, and help keep us safe, I say: Good.

Are the screams getting louder?

Robert Cook said...

"Are the screams getting louder?

Why, do they make you harder?

AllenS said...

When I was a young Army paratrooper, I loved three things.

The roar of the engines of a C-130.

The sound of my parachute opening.

And the soft moans of a dieing man.

I'm a romantic.

Hoosier Daddy said...

What about the smell of napalm in the morning?

former law student said...

So, apparently, is making a fair summary of a 14-page letter written in plain English.

From Inwood doesn't know what a shredding is. He should read David Luban's shredding of Margolis:

Yoo cited legal authorities (often with dubious interpretations) to support his conclusions. Yet somehow he managed to omit all the authorities on the other side—dissenting judicial opinions, later opinions by the same courts he did cite, and even Supreme Court decisions. This is first-year law-school stuff.

Margolis says Yoo is stupid; OPR said he's dishonest. From Inwood supports the stupid side.

http://www.slate.com/id/2245531/pagenum/all/#p2

From Inwood said...

Michael

Aha: it's a fix. see Harpers' article (cited)!

And, the WSJ says Vindicating John Yoo - Bush lawyers are found to have acted ethically, unlike their accusers.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704757904575078182303405948.html

And his point is?

From Inwood said...

Once again failed's researching skills are deficient.

I can’t do a ctrl on the pdf, but I did not find “stupid”, an unprofessional word, frequently used by the vocabulary impaired & referred to by my grand kids as “the ‘s’ word”.

I suspect that he has not, you know actually read the Margolis Memorandum of Decision? Has any moral preener here?

And, please spare me, he cites a legal ethicist. Oh, well that’s better than a failed law student.

But, more important, his reference to ethicist Luban is circular logic & dishonest in that it does not note his own unethical conduct in not disclosing his obvious conflict. As noted (on p8) by Mukasey and Filip, while obviously a thoughtful and prolific scholar, Prof. Luban is not an attorney, has never practiced law (he is a trained philosopher), and is a vigorous critic of the Bush administration and the War on Terror generally & there was no mention of this background and Luban's obvious conflict in OPR’s Draft Report.

Or, to failed’s sloppy reliance point, any such reference in Luban’s article about his up to his elbow involvement in his Slate article. Ethical? Not in my book.

But, nevertheless, puffed up & huffed up, ethicists apparently claim that Yoo & Barbee should have also considered the ethical implications of their advice. News to me. Their duty, I suggest, & Margolis confirms, was simply to offer legal advice, not to go off & make moral judgments on the interrogation of terrorists. Hell, they The D of J could’ve hired even failed for that. If he even bothered to read the 14 page letter he so sloppily attempted to summarize, he’d have found (p13) that the legal canons of Washington, D.C. and many states expressly prohibit lawyers from offering such policy advice to sophisticated clients such as the U.S. government. You see, that’s because, as he apparently never heard as a student, there ain’t nothing in being a lawyer that makes one an expert in matters of ethics, morality, or policy, and so ya gotta to avoid a situation in which the lawyer’s personal feelings, O, O, feeeeelings are presented as law. [And, no, lawyers can’t aid the Mafia in how to launder money.]

Let me, in the interest of time (mine) quote from the WSJ’s 2/22/10 editorial, with which I agree after reading the Margolis Memorandum of Decision & the Mukasey/Filip letter.

“Mr. Margolis's only duty was determining whether the Bush attorneys had adhered to proper ethical standards. On that question, he is unequivocal in saying they did.

“However, at the end of his 68-page review [69 in my pdf] he indulges in some superfluous commentary that Messrs. Yoo and Bybee exhibited "poor judgment" and that some of their legal analysis was mistaken. This is a matter of opinion—akin to writing an op-ed piece—unrelated to the question of whether they behaved unethically, and it is precisely the kind of judgment that Mr. Margolis says earlier in the report that he will not render.
“His change of tone is notable enough that it raises a question of whether Mr. Margolis decided to add this concluding rhetoric as a way to propitiate Mr. Holder and to save at least some face for the AG's protégés…

“The larger story here is the vindication of Mr. Yoo and the other Bush attorneys, who were pilloried unfairly over ethics in what was really a policy dispute in the war on terror. Democrats wanted to appease the anti-antiterror left, and they fixed on punishing mid-level officials as prominent enough to get public attention but not so prominent as to seem like a banana republic seeking revenge against a former President or Vice President. Their campaign has now been exposed as a partisan, and unethical, smear.”
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704757904575078182303405948.html?KEYWORDS=Vindicating++john+Yoo

Robert Cook said...

In other words, the fix was in, and a whitewash of Yoo and Bybee was prepared, as one would have expected.

Robert Cook said...

I do agree: the Dems are craven shits for not pursuing Bush, Cheney, at al. for war crimes.

From Inwood said...

<In other words, the fix was in, and a whitewash of Yoo and Bybee was prepared, as one would have expected.

Right.

How about this:

In other words

The moral preening people shall never give up. They shall go on to end, they shall fight in the MSM, they shall fight on the blogdom, they shall never surrender…gurgle, gurgle.

The same people who said Yoo & Bybee were war criminals because it was axiomatic that torture occurred, who said that the exoneration of Yoo & Bybe by the Bush Regime was a cover-up that would be exposed by the Obama Administration, and who predicted that the facts once fully addressed would support their contentions, now want to ignore the final round of findings that fully addressed the facts & exonerated Yoo & Bybee and, by extension, dismissed the phony “torture” allegations and continue to press their point anyway.

Proves that they do not have the moral high ground, are not interested in Truth, just, yawn, in promoting their agenda-driven positions.

Robert Cook said...

And yet, none of this is what was said. Margolis didn't "exonerate" these moral cretins, he merely refused to say their "sincerity" in rendering their opinions could be adequatrly impeached to warrant disciplinary action against them.

It's the old "they-meant-well-so-the-death-and-misery-they-caused-can-be-excused" scam. It's an old favorite in Washington town.

From Inwood said...

Margolis didn't "exonerate" these moral cretins

Still soldiering on, so to speak, & trying to ignore the final round of findings that fully addressed the facts & exonerated Yoo & Bybee and, by extension, dismissed the phony “torture” allegations and continue to press their point anyway.

From Inwood said...

This comment has probably outlived its shelf life, but if anyone is still here:

House Leaders stop vote to ban degrading treatment

The McDermott amendment would have outlawed measures such as threatening detainees, using prolonged isolation and applying duct tape over a prisoner's eyes.

It would also prohibit an interrogator from "using force or the threat of force to coerce an individual to desecrate the individual's religious articles, or to blaspheme his or her religious beliefs, or to otherwise participate in acts intended to violate the individual's religious beliefs."

Rep. Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said the amendment was far too vague, noting, "If a woman interviews a Muslim without a head covering, is that blasphemy?"


http://washingtontimes.com/news/2010/feb/26/gop-tries-to-kill-bill-on-cruel-interrogation/

Hey I thought that Yoo & Bybee were war criminals because it was axiomatic that torture occurred.