The Senate Intelligence Committee and Its Torture Report

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA’s torture of prisoners in the “war on terror” was released today. We’re far past the euphemisms that have been used for years — we didn’t subject people to “enhanced interrogation techniques.” No, we tortured people. Torturing people didn’t produce the results that we wanted. Torturing people didn’t produceContinue reading “The Senate Intelligence Committee and Its Torture Report”

On John Yoo’s Constitution

Contrary to popular belief, I do not have an Enemy’s List. Yes, Warren Ellis is my nemesis, but only because his writing makes me feel like an amateur. (Though I’m not sure what to think — yet — about Crooked Little Vein, which makes me realize how completely undepraved I am. That is a goodContinue reading “On John Yoo’s Constitution”

On Bush and Pardons

I was reading this morning an article on a rumored pardon President Bush is considering — a blanket pardon for anyone involved in his administration’s torture policies. Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition — all of that would be covered. On the one hand, a blanket pardon for anyone involved in the interrogations could be viewedContinue reading “On Bush and Pardons”

On John McCain and Torture

In all the hubbub over Senator John McCain dismissing the Dungeons & Dragons vote, one vital story has been ignored — was John McCain tortured by the North Vietnamese during his captivity during the Vietnam War? John McCain would say yes: Just after his release in May 1973, he detailed his experience as a P.O.W.Continue reading “On John McCain and Torture”

On John Yoo and the Legality of Torture

I don’t like John Yoo. Yoo served in President Bush’s Office of Legal Counsel during the early years of his administration. Yoo was known to have penned two memos outlining the legal basis for detainee confinement at Guantanamo Bay and for coercive interrogation tactics — torture, let’s just say it — that led to prisonContinue reading “On John Yoo and the Legality of Torture”

On John Yoo

I'm sure many of you have heard about the NPR interview with legal scholar John Yoo. Yoo, in case you don't know, is the legal theorist behind many of President Bush's philosophies. Signing statements, the unitary executive–they all originate in the writings of John Yoo. Yoo was interviewed by NPR yesterday on the Congressional billContinue reading “On John Yoo”

On the Terror Legislation

WASHINGTON – Congress sent President Bush a bill Friday that endorses his plan to interrogate and prosecute terror suspects, legislation Republicans hope will win them political points on the campaign trail. Many Democrats opposed the legislation because they said it eliminated rights of defendants considered fundanamental to American values, such as a person’s ability toContinue reading “On the Terror Legislation”

On Interrogation, War Crimes, the President, and Congress

The above-the-fold article in Saturday’s Washington Post covered President Bush’s press conference yesterday. From the two opening paragraphs: President Bush warned defiant Republican senators yesterday that he will close down a CIA interrogation program that he credited with thwarting terrorist attacks if they pass a proposal regulating detention of enemy combatants, escalating a politically chargedContinue reading “On Interrogation, War Crimes, the President, and Congress”

On the Things We Now Know

Bernard Weiner, at the Crisis Papers, has written an essay about the “Twenty Things We Now Know Five Years After 9/11.” Now that we’re five years past the events of that Tuesday morning in September, Weiner takes stock of what’s happened to the United States in that span of time. His observations? Not good. InContinue reading “On the Things We Now Know”