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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Deciding who is subject to the rule of law and who isn't - another reason Bush should be impeached
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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Deciding who is subject to the rule of law and who isn't - another reason Bush should be impeached

yes, this is just another chapter in the long, long story of an out-of-control president and presidential administration, but no matter how many times i'm exposed to it or how it starts to become "just another chapter," i still have to restrain the urge to vomit...

btw, for those of you who might be inclined to feel a tad optimistic over the news that bush may be open to compromise on the fisa bill (see previous post), reading this ought to snap you back to reality...

The Justice Department sent a legal memorandum to the Pentagon in 2003 asserting that federal laws prohibiting assault, maiming and other crimes did not apply to military interrogators who questioned al-Qaeda captives because the president's ultimate authority as commander in chief overrode such statutes.


Sent to the Pentagon's general counsel on March 14, 2003, by John C. Yoo, then a deputy in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, the memo provides an expansive argument for nearly unfettered presidential power in a time of war. It contends that numerous laws and treaties forbidding torture or cruel treatment should not apply to U.S. interrogations in foreign lands because of the president's inherent wartime powers.

"If a government defendant were to harm an enemy combatant during an interrogation in a manner that might arguably violate a criminal prohibition, he would be doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the al Qaeda terrorist network," Yoo wrote. "In that case, we believe that he could argue that the executive branch's constitutional authority to protect the nation from attack justified his actions."

Interrogators who harmed a prisoner would be protected by a "national and international version of the right to self-defense," Yoo wrote. He also articulated a definition of illegal conduct in interrogations -- that it must "shock the conscience" -- that the Bush administration advocated for years.

"Whether conduct is conscience-shocking turns in part on whether it is without any justification," Yoo wrote, explaining, for example, that it would have to be inspired by malice or sadism before it could be prosecuted.

this cannot be the policy of the country of which i am a citizen nor can it be the policy of any country of which i would choose to be a citizen...

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