Under U.S. Law Torture is Always Illegal

Why John Yoo and Other Top Administration Lawyers Should be Investigated for War Crimes.


Report Confirms Psychologists Supported Illegal Interrogations In Iraq and Afghanistan

Uncensored documents from the Church Report, obtained as a result of the ACLU's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, include new details exposing the role of psychologists in military interrogations.


From Information Clearing House


Executive or imperial branch?

Consortium News
by Ivan Eland


More memos recently have surfaced that were written early in the Bush administration by John C. Yoo from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel — the man who gave us the administration’s horrifyingly narrow definition of torture. As difficult as it is to believe, the recently released memos are even scarier than the original torture memo.Yoo boldly asserts that the president’s power during wartime is nearly unlimited. For example, he argues that Congress has no right to pass laws governing the interrogations of enemy combatants and the commander in chief can ignore such laws if passed, and can, without constraint, seize oceangoing ships...


Tortured justification

Guardian [UK]
by Michael Washburn


The Bush administration hopes that the intentionality of its interrogators actions will diminish the criminal nature of the acts should any CIA operative ever be called into court. This is a vigorous, pre-emptive washing of hands — a rhetorical exculpation and mitigation of responsibility. Given the crooked timber of international law, this may fly, legally. Morally, logically, though, it’s corrupt.The confusion here lies between the intended action and desired result. Torture isn’t incidental, and you can’t torture by accident. Interrogators fully intend the infliction of emotional and physical anguish, but they maintain that what they hope to glean from such barbarity isn’t merely the satisfaction of pain and anguish. In addition to this perverse surplus value, the US government relentlessly stresses that knowledge gained through pain is useful and nobly obtained.The efficacy of torture is, of course, doubtful. In fact, most experts in the field claim that information gained through physical or emotional coercion fails to provide much actionable intelligence. Despite this evidence, however, the seduction of “ticking bomb” scenarios persists, and not merely as a plot device in second-rate films...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


From the Department of Justice to Guantánamo Bay: Administration Lawyers and Administration Interrogation Rules




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