October 7, 2007

The Torture Memo

The New York Times has an excellent timeline of secret U.S. government approval of torture by interrogators justified by the so-called war on terror and based on the current administration's dismissal of law and human rights. It seems that against growing public and legal opposition towards the abusive treatment of suspects and prisoners, the Justice Department continued to issue classified statements approving the use of such treatment.

The classified opinions, never previously disclosed, are a hidden legacy of President Bush’s second term and Mr. Gonzales’s tenure at the Justice Department...the 2005 Justice Department opinions remain in effect, and their legal conclusions have been confirmed by several more recent memorandums, officials said. They show how the White House has succeeded in preserving the broadest possible legal latitude for harsh tactics.

Perhaps the most disappointing truth is that instead of trying to do the right thing, the humane thing, and the legal thing from the beginning, this administration's attitude towards the issue has been to do whatever they can get away with. If someone finds out about something specific, then adamantly declare that it's legal, necessary, and provide other excuses. Stop it if things really come down to that, but keep doing everything else until those actions end up in the right place.

One of the most important lessons a child can learn is to live by the golden rule. Unfortunately the U.S. appears to be living according to the guidelines presented in Machiavelli's The Prince.

Posted by josuah at October 7, 2007 8:55 AM UTC+00:00

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