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Friday, June 11, 2004

More on the Torture Memos 

So, Professor Yoo defends embarrasses himself in the LA Times today.

University of Miami law professor Michael Froomkin analyzes the arguments here.

Yoo writes:
Physical and mental abuse is clearly illegal. But would limiting a captured terrorist to six hours’ sleep, isolating him, interrogating him for several hours or requiring him to do physical labor constitute “severe physical or mental pain or suffering”? Federal law commands that Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives not be tortured, and the president has ordered that they be treated humanely, but the U.S. is not required to treat captured terrorists as if they were guests at a hotel or suspects held at an American police station.
Froomkin:
Another disingenuous move. Neither six hours sleep nor “several hours” of interrogation are illegal acts. But that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about scaring people with dogs, about contests to see how many detainees could be so terrified they peed on themselves. We’re talking about 16 hours of continuous interrogation, and suicide attempts. We’re talking about telling people they were about to be killed. We’re talking about simulating telephone conversations in which detainees were told their families were being held on the other end of the line and would be harmed if the detainee didn’t talk. We’re talking about not jjust threatening but abusing kids to make parents talk. We’re talking about raping women and children of both sexes. We’re talking about atrocities.

Treating “captured terrorists as if they were guests at a hotel”? The word “offensive” is really too mild for this sort of argumentation.
Read the whole Froomkin post--it's very good.
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