Thursday, April 16, 2009

No More Nuremburgs

“I was just following orders” wasn’t a good enough excuse to get folks off the hook at Nuremburg; the theory behind those prosecutions was that some things are just too monstrous for decent people to do, no matter what some misguided authority might say.

Of course, the things that have been happening in secret CIA prisons these past few years are considerably less evil that than attempted genocide, so maybe it's all right that today, President Obama said [absolutely nothing about “just following orders,” but he did announce] that “relying on good faith” is a good enough reason not to prosecute torturers in the CIA:
Central Intelligence Agency interrogators who tortured detainees during the administration of George W. Bush will not be prosecuted, President Barack Obama said on Thursday as his administration released legal memos that Mr Bush used to justify harsh techniques such as waterboarding.

In releasing the documents, which underpinned the Bush administration’s “war on terror” detention and interrogation policies, Mr Obama said CIA employees should not be punished for “relying in good faith” on legal authorisations provided by the Bush-era justice department.

“The men and women of our intelligence community serve courageously on the front lines of a dangerous world,” said Mr Obama. “We must protect their identities as vigilantly as they protect our security, and we must provide them with the confidence that they can do their jobs.”
And if they’re not allowed to commit occasional acts of sadism, how the devil can they do that?
The memos provided detailed accounts of how interrogators would use waterboarding, a technique that the Obama administration has deemed “torture” and banned, in which interrogators pour water on to a cloth covering a detainee’s mouth and nose to simulate drowning…. The memos permitted the use of numerous “enhanced interrogation techniques”, including sleep deprivation, “facial slap”, putting insects inside confinement boxes and “cramped confinement.”
And the people who did such things won’t be prosecuted or even identified, since they were only following orders upon which they relied in good faith. There's no accountability here, nobody's being punished and we've set a scary precedent: government agents who obey illegal orders won't face prosecution so long as they claim they're “relying in good faith.”

12 Comments:

Blogger Caveman Lawyer said...

I hope you're not surprised in any way over this announcement. What will be funny is how the right wingers deal with the realization that there really isn't that much of a difference between this guy and the last one.

5:26 PM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

If they waterboarded the guy 250 times, that proves it wasn't harmful if anything does.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

What will be funny is how the right wingers deal with the realization that there really isn't that much of a difference between this guy and the last one.No, what will be funny is how the left deals with the realization that there really isn't that much of a difference between this guy and the last one. ;-)

8:33 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

If they waterboarded the guy 250 times, that proves it wasn't harmful if anything does.I sincerely hope you're being sarcastic.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

*SIGH* And I have no idea why the software makes spaces between paragraphs dfisappear. Sorry about that, Smartass.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Sorry about that, Smartass.It never used to do that - just lately. But it isn't only your blog - other blogs on Blogger do it now as well.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you advocate prosecution up to and including Bush?

2:44 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Absolutely. We went after Nixon for far less.

3:12 PM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

Don't put an end-html at the end of a paragraph. eg /i or /a

Instead put it at the beginning of the next paragraph.

It's a new bug.

4:56 PM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

I'm pro-torture.

If the guys want Geneva protections, let them become signatories, wear uniforms, not use civilians as human shields, and the rest of the stuff these guys are too barbaric to do.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Instead put it at the beginning of the next paragraph.

Well let's try it then.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Yup. It works. Thanks, rhhardin.

5:21 PM  

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