December 12, 2014

THE CONTRADICTION AT THE HEART OF THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST TORTURE...:

A torture report for the dustbin (JOHN YOO, 12/09/14,  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

As a Justice Department lawyer who worked on the legality of the interrogation methods in 2002, I believed that the federal law prohibiting torture allowed the CIA to use interrogation methods that did not cause injury -- including, in extraordinary cases, waterboarding -- because of the grave threat to the nation's security in the months after the 9/11 attacks.

I was swayed by the fact that our military used waterboarding in training thousands of its own soldiers without harm, and that the CIA would use the technique only on top Al Qaeda leaders thought to have actionable information on pending plots.

The United States had just been attacked, with the loss of 3,000 civilians lives and billions in damage; intelligence indicated that more attacks were coming, perhaps using weapons of mass destruction; we knew little about Al Qaeda, and believed only interrogations could reveal the full extent of their plans.

CIA officers have said that they used waterboarding on only three terrorist leaders, and that the interrogations yielded valuable intelligence on Al Qaeda.

I would want to know if they lied to me and other Bush administration officials, as the Feinstein report asserts.


...is that, on the one hand, torture is so uniquely terrible a weapon to use that it is beyond the pale, but, on the other hand, the tortured won't reveal any useful intelligence.  

Posted by at December 12, 2014 6:23 PM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« ALL ALONG THE ANGLOSPHERE: | Main | ...AND CHEAPER...: »