September 17, 2009
The "Torture Memo" Lawyers
In the NYRB article "The Torture Memos: The Case Against the Lawyers," David Cole (Georgetown) provides a brief rehearsal of the major arguments, legal authorities, and chronologies surrounding the attorneys Jay Bybee, John Yoo, Daniel Levin, and Steven Bradbury, the authors of the so-called "torture memos."
Cole's ultimate conclusion is that the "least President Obama should do, therefore, is to appoint an independent, nonpartisan commission of distinguished citizens, along the lines of the 9/11 Commission, to investigate and assess responsibility for the United States' adoption of coercive interrogation policies."
It's a relatively brief article intended for a general (if sophisticated) audience; it would make a great basis for a class discussion, simulation, or exercise in a law school, graduate, or undergraduate constitutional law class.
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The other interesting side to the actions of the "Torture" lawyers is the inability to establish "Immunity" to civil prosecution, either quantifiable or absolute. John Yoo and Ashcroft failed to have their cases dismissed on these grounds.
Posted by: kai landow | Sep 17, 2009 5:21:58 PM