Observations on the world today.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

When the President Does It, That Means That It's Not Illegal. 

This is a memo requested by the Bush administration in the lead up to the war in Iraq. The administration was concerned even then about the possibility that their torture plans would become problematic, so they got legal advice on how to avoid being charged with war crimes from the Pentagon's Office of General Counsel. They also had one written up by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel and one written by white house counsel. Here is the story as it appeared in the Wall Street Journal:
Bush administration lawyers contended last year that the president wasn't bound by laws prohibiting torture and that government agents who might torture prisoners at his direction couldn't be prosecuted by the Justice Department.

The advice was part of a classified report on interrogation methods prepared for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after commanders at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, complained in late 2002 that with conventional methods they weren't getting enough information from prisoners.
These are either the worst and most unethical lawyers in the history of the practice, or every lawyer is now Tom Hagen.

By the way, about the title of this post. That's a quote from Richard Nixon. Think about it.


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