June 22, 2004

How Low the Bar?

We often think of lawyers as advocates, such as courtroom lawyers who make zealous arguments that may or may not convince a judge. But the Department of Justice lawyers who wrote the memo on interrogation and torture were acting as advisers. As such, their responsibility was to advise their "client," the executive branch, as to what the law requires. Lawyers routinely provide clients with such "opinion letters" to help sort out whether proposed conduct is legal, illegal or somewhere in between.
The Justice Department memo assured the Bush administration of three things: First, that interrogators could cause a lot of pain without crossing the line to torture. Second, that even though the United States criminalizes torture and has signed a treaty outlawing it, interrogators could torture prisoners as long as the president authorized it. Third, that even if those interrogators were later prosecuted for engaging in torture, there were legal defenses they could use to avoid accountability.

-- Kathleen Clark and Julie Metrus writing in Sunday Outlook.

Read the whole thing.

The final two sentences might be most important.

But we don't really live in that kind of era anymore, do we?

Posted by Gregory at June 22, 2004 12:57 AM
Comments

Gregory:

For proper balance, and perhaps better insight, you should be willing to direct your readership to the article by John Roo formerly with the Bush Justice Department. There is too much conjecture out there, as evidenced by the wide universal of questionably informed authors.

Conversely, John Yoo has the inside track. He was right there.

With 'All Necessary and Appropriate Force'
In interrogations, U.S. actions align with treaties and Congress' wishes.

Source: http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-oe-yoo11jun11,1,142865.story

Posted by: Capt America at June 22, 2004 01:16 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
Reviews of Belgravia Dispatch
"Awake"
--New York Times
"Must-read list"
--Washington Times
"Always Thoughtful"
--Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit
"Pompous Ass"
--an anonymous blogospheric commenter
Recent Entries
Search
English Language Media
Foreign Affairs Commentariat
Non-English Language Press
U.S. Blogs
Western Europe
France
United Kingdom
Germany
Italy
Netherlands
Spain
Central and Eastern Europe
CIS/FSU
Russia
Armenia
East Asia
China
Japan
South Korea
Middle East
Egypt
Israel
Lebanon
Syria
Columnists
Think Tanks
Security
Books
B.D. In the Press
Archives
Categories
Syndicate this site:
XML RSS RDF

G2E

Powered by