Monday, November 07, 2005
Look on the Bright Side -- We May Be Torturing in Eastern European Detention Facilities, But Our Black Sites Aren't as Bad as the Gulag!
Torture, schmorture . . . at least we haven't yet stooped as low as the Soviet gulag! (Perhaps even Juan Non-Volokh will concede, however, that it is more than a tad unseemly that we've decided to use former Soviet-era detention facilities for our secret "enhanced interrogations." In light of Abu Ghraib and now this, Rosa Brooks wonders when we'll run out of former torture chambers to use as our own "black sites": "[T]he Marquis de Sade's castle lies in ruins. The Tower of London's dungeons still boast an excellent range of enhanced interrogation equipment, but they attract too many giggling children.")
Of all the arguments made by conservatives regarding executive power, the argument (apparently made by Yoo) that congressional constraint of interrogation practices is unconstitutional is by far the dumbest. Art I § 8 of the Constitution EXPRESSLY confers on CONGRESS the power to make rules for captures. It is a basic principle of statutory construction that this specific grant of power controls over the less specific appointment of the President as commander-in-chief of the military.
My theory is that the only reason that Bush partisans like Yoo are able to advance such arguments is because they are confident that no court will ever review them and shoot them down. Unfortunately, there are members of the bar out there with such a crabbed view of professional ethics that they are willing to advance even the most frivolous of arguments so long as no court is around to tell them they are wrong.
What is more sad is that one of the country's great law schools, the University of California at Berkeley, would hire such a man as a professor.
And that's only what's been published in the past few hours!
And here is the rest.
This whole question has got me jaded. The American people made a devil's bargain, and decided to support torture. For all things there are consequences, costs and benefits. You will accept both. There is no way around it. To say anything more is a waste of electrons.
Great post, Professor Lederman.
If you want some even scarier arguments made by conservatives, see what NewsMax had to say in defense of the effectiveness of the CIA's methods:
McCain's claim that torture doesn't work is also contradicted by his own story.
In a 1973 account he gave "U.S. News & World Report," McCain recalled how his plane was shot down over North Vietnam, with the crash leaving him severely wounded.
After the North Vietnamese captured him, he said his captors slapped him around for "three or four days."
On the fourth day, McCain said he called for an officer and said, "O.K., I'll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital."
In his book, "Faith of My Fathers," McCain continued the story:
"Demands for military information were accompanied by threats to terminate my medical treatment if I did not cooperate. Eventually, I gave them my ship's name and squadron number, and confirmed that my target had been the power plant."
Subject: Where are the other secret torture chambers?
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
The Minds Limit Today
In Jean Amery's, The Minds Limit, his capture and
descent into torture by German Nazi's, starts by
pointing out that his torturers showed no "banality of
evil" in their faces. First there is the "laugh" and
then the "first blow." The prisoner then realizes that
they are "helpless". Lost is the "trust in the world."
Certainly there is no "mutual aid in nature." No. It
is time for the "business room." But before describing
his own torture the author makes "good on a promise I
gave." Not that they where not specialists in torture,
but more so his conviction that "torture was the
essence of Nationalist Socialism....more accurately
stated, why it was precisely in torture that the Third
Reich materialized in all the density of its being." I
ask you dear citizens should we also "codify" that the
detainees at Camp Xray can also be children as
recently reported in the news? Not only does that
sound slightly like the rule of anti-man but I do
believe anti-child included. And if that is so then
the rule practiced as such has "expressly established
it as a princple." So just what else in "essence" does
go on at Camp Xray? "Tricks"? Plead mercy, pray tell?
And now comes Abu Graib. Refuse Himmlers offer for a
Certificate of Maturity in History and stop those jet
flights I would suggest, Mr. Cheney. Nay, to forsake
the Constitution and be depraved of our humanity would
be more painful in the end. Slavery to torture is all
you will get. Go tell that to the Marines. Why Mr.
Cheney haven't you already tendered your resignation?
At least Hitler was restrained from jettisoning the
Geneva Conventions even with his back against the wall
in February of 1945. I smell now the chief prosecutor
Jackson's closing arguments at the Nuremberg trials.
I am Citizen Michael John Keenan
What's worse, Marty? Us beating them with sticks to get some intel, or them sawing off our heads on video with scimitars?Post a Comment