Thursday, February 07, 2008

No Waterboarding Investigation

Surprising nobody, Attorney General Michael Mukasey has announced that he will not open a probe into CIA waterboarding, despite conceding it was probably illegal. The stated reason is the Nuremberg Defense that it would "send a message that Justice Department opinions are subject to change.":
"Essentially it would tell people, 'You rely on a Justice Department opinion as part of a program, then you will be subject to criminal investigations ... if the tenure of the person who wrote the opinion changes or indeed the political winds change,'" he said. "And that's not something that I think would be appropriate and it's not something I will do."

Or it would, you know, send the message that just because President Bush says it's okay to torture, it's still not okay to torture. But whatever.

It infuriates me to no end that everyone is going to get away with this.


Anonymous said...

That practice of "waterboarding" probably saved American lives. If it saved just one life, it is a good practice. They terrorize our country and kill our citizens... let them feel a squeeze as well. If this makes them talk, so be it. It's just a shame it doesn't kill them.

Anonymous said...

This issue is not all about the saving of American citizens. You also need to consider the protection of our military in the event of their capture. We so easily forget that the lives of our soldiers are just as important as the citizens they are protecting. They will be subjected to the same or even worse torture techniques if we choose to play by these rules. Remember we are spreading DEMOCRACY... Right ????

Anonymous said...

Re: Waterboarding. I am concerned about the humane treatment of captured terrorists. In fact, I am about as concerned as Al-Qaeda is about the humane treatment of Americans and other "infidels". Now is NOT the time to play Ghandi people!

PG said...

What you call the Nuremberg Defense apparently is a consistent legal strategy of the Bush Administration to prevent investigations and even civil litigation. As a conservative explained it to me, the reason Bush gave the signing statement (saying that Congress's refusal to fund "permanent" bases was unconstitutional) was so that no soldier injured on the base, for example, could bring a case against the executive official who had approved a base's funding, that included a Section 1983 claim. Such a claim would be that the exec official had violated the law, whereas a signing statement that says the executive considers this law unconstitutional and non-binding gives the official cover: The president said it wasn't the law. I thought such a lawsuit would die at 12(b)(6) as a political question anyway, but I suppose this theory provides a happy conservative combination of terror of frivolous litigation coupled with the otherwise gratuitous use of executive power. Unless, of course, all the talk of a "Korea model" for Iraq is serious and they are planning to keep soldiers there for 50 years.

At least McCain, having been tortured himself, signed a false confession and given false information because of it, is aware that torture is not a terribly effective way to get good intelligence, and has taken a stand against it. No matter who is elected president, we can end this BS.

(From Wikipedia: 'After four days of [torture], McCain signed an anti-American propaganda "confession" that said he was a "black criminal" and an "air pirate", although he used stilted Communist jargon and ungrammatical language to signal the statement was forced. He would later write, "I had learned what we all learned over there: Every man has his breaking point. I had reached mine." His injuries to this day have left him incapable of raising his arms above his head. His captors tried to force him to sign a second statement, and this time he refused. He received two to three beatings per week because of his continued refusal. Other American POWs were similarly tortured and maltreated in order to extract "confessions". On one occasion when McCain was physically coerced to give the names of members of his squadron, he supplied them the names of the Green Bay Packers' offensive line.')