Some of the brutal interrogation methods that Mr. Yoo and Mr. Bybee approved for use on Qaeda prisoners, including wall-slamming and the near-drowning of waterboarding, had never before been authorized in American history, and the United States had condemned such treatment as torture and abuse when used by other countries.
Um, perhaps because it is torture?
via Justice Department Report Finds John Yoo and Jay Bybee Not Guilty of Misconduct — NYTimes.com.
But I don’t think you intended it.
What makes the United States special, and what makes you special, is precisely the fact that we are willing to uphold our values and our ideals even when it’s hard, not just when it’s easy; even when we are afraid and under threat, not just when it’s expedient to do so. That’s what makes us different.
via The White House — Blog Post — “What Makes the United States Special”.
CIA agents (or any government officials or military personnel) who tortured captives were not upholding any values or ideals I recognize as American. They were, in fact, taking the easy way out, following the orders of their superiors or hiding behind legal memos from administration hacks.
I appreciate that they were in very difficult situations. But I’m sorry, that doesn’t make it okay to torture another human being. I’m disappointed that President Obama has not moved to carry out his responsibilities under U.S. and international law to bring U.S. war criminals to justice.
I’ve been hoping/waiting for this to happen. Harper’s magazine reports that Spain is going after the architects of U.S. torture: John Yoo, William J. Haynes II, David Addington, Alberto Gonzales, Jay Bybee, and Doug Feith.
The Spanish criminal court now may seek the arrest of any of the targets if they travel to Spain or any of the 24 nations that participate in the European extraditions convention it would have to follow a more formal extradition process in other countries beyond the 24. The Bush lawyers will therefore run a serious risk of being apprehended if they travel outside of the United States.
Now if they’ll only add Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Bush.
(tip of the hat to Sully)