Thursday, April 3, 2008

So the has the John Yoo torture memo, the one that tells Bush administration officials how torture is kind of, sort of illegal, but not if you close your eyes and pray and pretend like nothing is going on. I haven't read it yet, but I'm somewhat familiar with the legal argument: basically, because terrorists are not officially enemy combatants, the Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War doesn't apply to them. Okay, even if that's true (it's not), the Convention on Torture and Other Cruel and Unusual Punishment does. Moreover, every Geneva convention makes explicit that the "state of exception"/"executive order" argument DOES NOT ALLOW FOR THE VIOLATION OF THE CONVENTION. But, if you write enough memos, make enough statements to the press, and backpeddle enough times, no one knows what's going on, and you can do whatever you want. I'll dub it the "excessive deliberation defense."

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