Tag: Geneva Conventions

Senate Will Consider The NDAA Today: Up Dated

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Up Date: The Senate voted for final passage for the NDAA conference report (H.R. 1540). The vote was overwhelming: 86-to-13. It now goes to President Obama for his signature.

President Obama has not yet signed the NDAA. It is not to late to tell him to veto this bill which will have a devastating effect on civil liberties and give unprecedented powers to the military and the Executive Branch. Send Obama a strong message sign the petition and send a letter:

President Obama: Veto the National Defense Authorization Act!

VETO the National Defense Authorization Act

This House passed the revised National Defense Authorization Act 283 – 136 with 93 Democrats and 43 Republicans voting against the bill. The Senate is scheduled to take up the bill later today. It inevitably pass with an overwhelming majority and be sent to President Obama to sign. Since the White has stated that they are satisfied with the minor changes, Obama will sign the bill which, as Human Rights Watch said in a press release, “a historic tragedy for rights:

(Washington, DC, December 14, 2011) – US President Barack Obama’s apparent decision to not veto a defense spending bill that codifies indefinite detention without trial into US law and expands the military’s role in holding terrorism suspects does enormous damage to the rule of law both in the US and abroad, Human Rights Watch said today. The Obama administration had threatened to veto the bill, the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), over detainee provisions, but on December 14, 2011, it issued a statement indicating the president would likely sign the legislation.

“By signing this defense spending bill, President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “In the past, Obama has lauded the importance of being on the right side of history, but today he is definitely on the wrong side.”

The far-reaching detainee provisions would codify indefinite detention without trial into US law for the first time since the McCarthy era when Congress in 1950 overrode the veto of then-President Harry Truman and passed the Internal Security Act. The bill would also bar the transfer of detainees currently held at Guantanamo into the US for any reason, including for trial. In addition, it would extend restrictions, imposed last year, on the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo to home or third countries – even those cleared for release by the administration.

(emphasis mine)

Glenn Greenwald at Salon wrote in his article this morning that there are “several persistent myths that circulating about this bill and President Obama’s position on it that need to be clarified once and for all:

  • First, while the powers this bill enshrines are indeed radical and dangerous, most of them already exist. That’s because first the Bush administration and now the Obama administration have aggressively argued that the original 2001 AUMF already empowers them to imprison people without charges, use force against even U.S. citizens without due process (Anwar Awlaki), and target not only members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban (as the law states) but also anyone who “substantially supports” those groups and/or “associated forces” (whatever those terms mean). [..]

    With a couple of exceptions, this bill just “clarifies” – and codifies – the powers President Obama has already claimed, seized and exercised. [..]

    This is the reason why civil libertarians have been so harshly critical of this President. It’s the reason civil liberties groups have been saying things like this even when saying them was so unpopular: it’s because Obama has, for three years now, been defending and entrenching exactly the detention powers this law vests, but doing it through radical legal theories, warped interprations (sic) of the 2001 AUMF, continuities with the Bush/Cheney template, and devotion to Endless War and the civil liberties assults (sic) it entails.

  • Second, as I documented at length last week, Obama’s veto threat was never about substantive objections to the detention powers vested by this bill; put another way, he was never objecting to the bill on civil liberties grounds. Obama, as I documented last week and again below, is not an opponent of indefinite detention; he’s a vigorous proponent of it, as evidenced by his contiuous (sic), multi-faceted embrace of that policy.

    Obama’s objections to this bill had nothing to do with civil liberties, due process or the Constitution. It had everything to do with Executive power. The White House’s complaint was that Congress had no business tying the hands of the President when deciding who should go into military detention, who should be denied a trial, which agencies should interrogate suspects (the FBI or the CIA). Such decisions, insisted the White House (pdf), are for the President, not Congress, to make. In other words, his veto threat was not grounded in the premise that indefinite military detention is wrong; it was grounded in the premise that it should be the President who decides who goes into military detention and why, not Congress.

  • Third, the most persistent and propagandistic set of myths about President Obama on detention issues is that he tried to end indefinite detention by closing Guantanamo, but was blocked by Congress from doing so. It is true that Congress blocked the closing of Guantanamo, and again in this bill, Congress is imposing virtually insurmountable restrictions on the transfer of detainees out of that camp, including for detainees who have long ago been cleared for release (restrictions that Obama is now going to sign into law). But – and this is not a hard point to understand – while Obama intended to close Guantanamo, he always planned – long before Congress acted – to preserve Guantanamo’s core injustice: indefinite detention.

    I need to say that again: long before, and fully independent of, anything Congress did, President Obama made clear that he was going to preserve the indefinite detention system at Guantanamo even once he closed the camp. That’s what makes the apologias over Obama and GITMO so misleading: the controversy over Guantanamo was not that about its locale – that it was based in the Carribean (sic) Ocean – so that simply closing it and then  re-locating it to a different venue would address the problem. The controversy over Guantanamo was that it was a prison camp where people were put in cages indefinitely, for decades or life, without being charged with any crime. And that policy is one that President Obama whole-heartedly embraced from the start.

  • All the evidence is that debunks the myth that Obama is concerned about the Constitution are there in Glen’s article.

    Ironically today 220 years ago in 1791, Virginia became the last state to ratify the Bill of Rights. If the Senate passes this horrendous assault on our civil liberties, most of that historic document will be undermined. I don’t believe this that is what our Founding Fathers intended.

    White House Statement: Obama Will Sign NDAA

    Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

    Welcome to the new America. With the “last minute” changes to the National Defense Authorization Act, the White House Press Sectary announced that President Obama will sign it contrary to his earlier threat to veto the bill. The bill would deny suspected terrorists, even U.S. citizens seized within the nation’s borders, the right to trial and subject them to indefinite detention.:

    We have been clear that “any bill that challenges or constrains the President’s critical authorities to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists, and protect the Nation would prompt the President’s senior advisers to recommend a veto.”  After intensive engagement by senior administration officials and the President himself, the Administration has succeeded in prompting the authors of the detainee provisions to make several important changes, including the removal of problematic provisions. While we remain concerned about the uncertainty that this law will create for our counterterrorism professionals, the most recent changes give the President additional discretion in determining how the law will be implemented, consistent with our values and the rule of law, which are at the heart of our country’s strength. This legislation authorizes critical funding for military personnel overseas, and its passage sends an important signal that Congress supports our efforts as we end the war in Iraq and transition to Afghan lead while ensuring that our military can meet the challenges of the 21st century.

    As a result of these changes, we have concluded that the language does not challenge or constrain the President’s ability to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists, and protect the American people, and the President’s senior advisors will not recommend a veto.  However, if in the process of implementing this law we determine that it will negatively impact our counterterrorism professionals and undercut our commitment to the rule of law, we expect that the authors of these provisions will work quickly and tirelessly to correct these problems.

    Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare gives a quick and dirty analysis from conference report for the NDAA (pdf):

    • The Senate has prevailed on the question of AUMF reaffirmation. The House bill, recall, would have contained a general reaffirmation of the AUMF, whereas the Senate language would only have reaffirmed that the existing AUMF authorized detention operations. The conference report has adopted the Senate approach. (See Sec. 1021.)
    • A watered-down version of the Senate’s mandatory detention provision remains in the bill. (See Sec. 1022.) On the quickest of reads, it seems to apply only to those who are “members of” or “part of” (not supporters of) Al Qaeda and those associated forces that act in coordination with it or at Al Qaeda’s direction, not to the Taliban. It does not extend to citizens and applies to permanent resident aliens only for conduct in the United States to whatever extent the Constitution permits. And it contains the following new disclaimer: “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the existing criminal enforcement and national security authorities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other domestic law enforcement agency with regard to a covered person, regardless of whether such covered person is held in military custody.” To put it simply, what has emerged is mush.
    • The conferees have adopted the Senate’s approach to codifying the Guantanamo review process. (See Sec. 1023.) The House had laid out detailed procedures to replace those in President Obama’s executive order. The Senate, by contrast, had merely required the promulgation of procedures that tweaked aspects of the executive order around the edges. The final bill, with very minor adjustments, looks like the Senate version.
    • The Senate’s requirement for new procedures for status determinations for “long-term detention” has survived-with slight tweaks. (See Sec. 1024.) The House got inserted language that clarifies that these procedures-which include counsel and a hearing before a military judge-are not required for detainees who have access to habeas. And the definition of “long term detention” is left to the Defense Department. So the provision, depending on how the executive branch implements it, could be important or could apply to a null-set of detainees.
    • The House bill’s requirement that the administration create a national security protocol governing detainee interactions with the outside world has survived-but with an important change. (See Sec. 1025.) The House version required a national security protocol for each detainee. The conference report, by contrast, requires a single national security protocol governing the Guantanamo population at large.
    • The conference report unsurprisingly contains language forbidding the expenditure of fiscal year 2012 money building detention facilities in the United States to house Guantanamo detainees. (See Sec. 1026.)
    • It also contains language forbidding the use of fiscal year 2012 money to bring Guantanamo detainees to the United States-including for trial. (See Sec. 1027.)
    • It also contains the Senate version of the overseas transfer restrictions for Guantanamo detainees. (See Sec. 1028.)
    • The House’s requirement for consultation between prosecutors and the Pentagon before initiating a terrorist prosecution has survived for foreign Al Qaeda figures and detainees abroad. (See Sec. 1029.)
    • It also contains the uncontroversial clarification of the right to plead guilty in military commission capital trials. (See Sec. 1030.)
    • The House’s prohibition of civilian trials is gone.

    h/t David Dayen at FDL

    Obama Will Sign NDAA Bill: Up Dated

    Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

    As per Sen. Karl Levin, Obama requested that the language barring the indefinite detention of US citizens be removed from the National Defense Authorization Bill. This doesn’t exonerate Levin or the other 97 Senators who voted “aye” on this travesty of legislation.

    We have only a few days to speak up to Congress before the President signs NDAA Section 1031, permitting citizen imprisonment without evidence or a trial. Congress plans to give it to him to sign by Dec 9. But if we act urgently to raise awareness among our friends, family, and colleagues, we can still prevent this. Here is what we can do:

    1) Americans must know about this to stop it. Urgently pass this petition as widely as possible: http://www.change.org/petition… … – Contact the media by any means available to you. ZERO news stories have covered this Chairman Levin clip yet!

    2) Congress can still block the law before December 9. Write and call your Representative and Senator telling them to stop NDAA Section 1031.

    Contact your Representative: http://writerep.house.gov/writ…

    Contact your Senator: http://www.senate.gov/general/…

    3) Write and call the White House to tell the President you won’t sit by and watch NDAA Section 1031 become law: http://www.whitehouse.gov/cont…

    4) Stay smart — To slow down journalists and concerned citizens, it appears Section 1032 was deliberately crafted to distract from Section 1031. However, section 1032 is NOT the citizen imprisonment law. Disturbingly, this confusion is helping Section 1031 to slip by the American people. Do NOT fall for the misdirection, stay informed and urgently work to stop NDAA Section 1031.

    We need to stop Obama and Congress from trashing the Constitution.

    Up Date 12.8.2011: The web site Lawfare has an excellent two part analysis and side by side comparison of the House and Senate versions of NDAA. Written by Benjamin Wittes, it is an enlightening read on the flaws of both bills:

    As the House of Representatives and the Senate head to conference on the NDAA, I thought it might be useful to analyze the similarities and differences between the counterterrorism provisions of the two versions of the bill. People sometimes talk about the NDAA as though both houses are on the same track. And there are some similar themes. But the two bills are also quite different. And these difference give rise to opportunities in conference: opportunities to emerge with far better policy than either bill presents on its own, and opportunities for mischief as well.

    In this pair of posts, which is organized thematically and loosely according to the sequence of provisions in the House version of the bill, I am going to do a kind of side-by-side analysis. In each section that follows, I will start with a discussion of the House bill, which is longer and more involved, then describe how the analogous Senate provision (if one exists) differs. I will then discuss what I think the optimal realistic policy outcome looks like given the two versions. I am not going to rehash the merits or lack thereof of the specific provisions, all of which we have discussed elsewhere. My point is simply to highlight where the Congress has a clear position and where the houses are reading from different playbooks.

    The Senate version of the bill is available here (pdf), with the relevant section running from pp. 426-445. The House version of the bill is available here (pdf) and runs from pp. 567-603. As this will get long, I will break it up into two posts.

    House-Senate Side-by-Side of NDAA Provisions: Part I

    House-Senate Side-by-Side of NDAA Provisions: Part II

    Obama’s War On Liberty

    Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

    If anyone thought for a second that Barack Obama’s threatened veto of the Senate’s passage of legislation that would allow for indefinite detention of Americans, think again. From Washington Blog via naked capitalism:

    The Real Reason for Obama’s Threat to Veto the Indefinite Detention Bill (Hint: It’s Not to Protect Liberty)

    And at first, I – like many others – assumed that Obama’s threat to veto the bill might be a good thing. But the truth is much more disturbing.

    As former Wall Street Street editor and columnist Paul Craig Roberts correctly notes:

       The Obama regime’s objection to military detention is not rooted in concern for the constitutional rights of American citizens. The regime objects to military detention because the implication of military detention is that detainees are prisoners of war. As Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin put it: Should somebody determined “to be a member of an enemy force who has come to this nation or is in this nation to attack us as a member of a foreign enemy, should that person be treated according to the laws of war? The answer is yes.”

       Detainees treated according to the laws of war have the protections of the Geneva Conventions. They cannot be tortured. The Obama regime opposes military detention, because detainees would have some rights. These rights would interfere with the regime’s ability to send detainees to CIA torture prisons overseas. (Yes, Obama is still apparently allowing “extraordinary renditions” to torture people abroad.) This is what the Obama regime means when it says that the requirement of military detention denies the regime “flexibility.”

       The Bush/Obama regimes have evaded the Geneva Conventions by declaring that detainees are not POWs, but “enemy combatants,” “terrorists,” or some other designation that removes all accountability from the US government for their treatment.

       By requiring military detention of the captured, Congress is undoing all the maneuvering that two regimes have accomplished in removing POW status from detainees.

       A careful reading of the Obama regime’s objections to military detention supports this conclusion. (See http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/112/saps1867s_20111117.pdf)

       The November 17 letter to the Senate from the Executive Office of the President says that the Obama regime does not want the authority it has under the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), Public Law 107-40, to be codified. Codification is risky, the regime says. “After a decade of settled jurisprudence on detention authority, Congress must be careful not to open a whole new series of legal questions that will distract from our efforts to protect the country.”

       In other words, the regime is saying that under AUMF the executive branch has total discretion as to who it detains and how it treats detainees. Moreover, as the executive branch has total discretion, no one can find out what the executive branch is doing, who detainees are, or what is being done to them. Codification brings accountability, and the executive branch does not want accountability.

      Those who see hope in Obama’s threatened veto have jumped to conclusions if they think the veto is based on constitutional scruples.

    Even if Obama’s threatened veto was for more noble purposes, the fact is that it would not change anything, because the U.S. government claimed the power to indefinitely detain and assassinate American citizens years ago. [..]

    The Obama administration has also said for more than a year and a half it could target American citizens for assassination without any trial or due process. [..]

    It’s hard to believe that any genuine democracy would accept a claim by its leader that he could have anyone killed simply by labeling them an “enemy.” It’s hard to believe that any adult with even the slightest knowledge of history or human nature could countenance such unlimited, arbitrary power, knowing the evil it is bound to produce. Yet this is what the great and good in America have done. Like the boyars of old, they not only countenance but celebrate their enslavement to the ruler.

    (emphasis mine)

    I had not read Dahlia Lithwick’s article at Slate on military detentions when I wrote about Obama’s veto threat of the NDAA because he objected to military making the decision:

    Now, perhaps you suspect these thorny questions about the handling of terrorists are best left to the experts, and that the Senate was simply listening to them. Such suspicions would be unfounded. The secretary of defense, the director of national intelligence, the director of the FBI (pdf), the CIA director, and the head of the Justice Department’s national security division have all said that the indefinite detention provisions in the bill are a bad idea. And the White House continues to say that the president will veto the bill if the detainee provisions are not removed. It sees the proposed language as limiting its flexibility.

    There may be no good outcome here. It could be an unholy victory for both the prospect of unbridled executive power and for the collapse of any meaningful separation between domestic law enforcement and military authority. The law manages to expand the role of the military in domestic terror prosecutions and also limit the authority of the civilian justice system to thwart terrorism. These were legal principles to which even the Bush administration said they adhered.

    No good will come of this no matter what Obama and Congress do or don’t do. This “war on terror” has now become the “war on liberty” by our own government.

    Tell Me How This Ends

    On the way to Baghdad in 2003, in the aftermath of “prolonged, ferocious combat” in the Euphrates Valley around Najaf, General David Petraeus talked about the invasion with journalist and historian Rick Atkinson.  When the interview was over, Petraeus hooked his thumbs into his flak vest and adjusted the weight on his shoulders.  “Tell me how this ends,” he said.

    The English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley could have told him how it ends.  It ends in death and desolation, it ends in ruin.  No ruler, no matter how powerful, no matter how arrogant, can escape the judgment of history.  It does not redeem tyrants, it exposes them as posturing frauds . . .  

    I met a traveler from an antique land,

    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone,

    Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,

    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read.

    And on the pedestal these words appear:

    “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:

    Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay,

    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,

    The lone and level sands stretch far away.  

    Round the decay of that colossal wreck Dick Cheney, the boundless crimes of his torturers are being exposed and laid bare.  But with a sneer of cold command  . . .

    Dick Cheney Scowl Pictures, Images and Photos

    he has told America to look upon his mighty works, and despair that Obama will not keep America “safe” like Dick Cheney did, with rape and sodomy and torture.

         

    My 2ΒΆ worth on Military Commissions

    This essay is partly in response to Something The Dog Said’s essay on military commissions – I did not want to hijack the discussion there.

    I am both a lawyer with a bit of training in international law and an officer of our armed forces (Switzerland, depository nation of the Geneva Conventions), which colours my view in this matter.

    First off, I do not see anything intrinsically wrong with military commissions; the questions I have is:

    – What is the objective?

    – Who will come before the military commissions?

    – Why bother?

    Two not to be missed videos! And Liz Holtzman speaks out on torture!

    Both of these videos speak for themselves without dialogue from me!

    David Swanson speaks on Real News:  “Policy Differences or Crimes?”

    Rachael Maddow, with Vince Warren, Director of Center for Constitutional Rights

    Rachel speaks out on Obama’s speech and indefinite detention!

    Rachel Maddow

    (Note:  I tried over and over to embed the video with no success.  I don’t get it.  Nightprowlkitty did it the other night — she must’ve hit a nerve I haven’t found.  Sorry, wish I could’ve done it myself!)

    Liz Holtzman next!

     

    Lindsey Graham Debates Himself On Torture

    ANP: Senator Lindsey Graham was a passionate critic of the Bush Justice attorneys during this past summer’s Armed Services Committee hearings on interrogation.

    Lately, however, Graham seems to have had second thoughts on the matter. At a recent Judiciary subcommittee hearing investigating the torture memos, Graham mounted a feisty defense of Jay Bybee, John Yoo and the lawyers who provided legal cover for detainee abuse.

    This performance sent ANP producer Mike Fritz back to the ANP archives to confirm that this was indeed the same Lindsey Graham we remembered from the summer, and sure enough, it was. As this video reveals, same tie – different message.



    ANP/Real News Network – May 20, 2009

    Lindsey Graham debates himself on detainee torture

    Sen. Graham: “The Geneva Convention did not apply until 2006

    Cheney tried to revive torture after Hamdan decision

    I’m cross-posting this from my diary over at DailyKos and my blog

    In 2006, the Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that Bush’s military commissions violated the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. As a result of that decision, the Bush administration asked Congress to pass legislation on military commissions. They passed the Military Commissions Act, which was struck down later.

    From 2006-2008, Congress was giving the Bush administration nearly everything they wanted. They got their very own courts to try detainees and their very own spying program complete with immunity, even while the administration was suspected of holding detainees in secret CIA black sites.

    Enter Dick Cheney.

    Senate Report: Bush Solicited “Wish List” of Torture Techniques

    Crossposted from Antemedius

    According to a RawStory article about an hour ago:

    A report by the Senate Armed Services Committee released Tuesday night says that torture techniques used at Abu Ghraib prison and approved by officials in the George W. Bush administration were applied only after soliciting a “wish list” from interrogators.

    President George W. Bush made a written determination that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum standards for humane treatment, did not apply to al Qaeda or Taliban detainees. This act, the committee found, cleared the way for a new interrogation program to be developed in-part based on “Chinese communist” tactics used against Americans during the Korean War, mainly to elicit false confessions for propaganda purposes.

    “In mid-August 2003, an email from staff at Combined Joint Task Force

    7 (CJTF-7) headquarters in Iraq requested that subordinate units provide input for a ‘wish list’ of interrogation techniques [to be used at Abu Ghraib], stated that ‘the gloves are coming off,’ and said ‘we want these detainees broken,'” the report found.

    The report is available as a .pdf file from the Senate Armed Services Committee site, and opens with this extraordinary paragraph:

    On February 7, 2002, President Bush signed a memorandum stating that the Third Geneva Convention did not apply to the conflict with al Qaeda and concluding that Taliban detainees were not entitled to prisoner of war status or the legal protections afforded by the Third Geneva Convention. The President’s order closed off application of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum standards for humane treatment, to al Qaeda or Taliban detainees. While the President’s order stated that, as “a matter of policy, the United States Armed Forces shall continue to treat detainees humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of the Geneva Conventions,” the decision to replace well established military doctrine, i.e., legal compliance with the Geneva Conventions, with a policy subject to interpretation, impacted the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody.

    The Bush Administration’s Stunning Geneva Hypocrisy

    by Jason Leopold, April 20, 2009

       Newly released US government documents, detailing how Bush administration officials punched legalistic holes in the Geneva Conventions’ protections of war captives, stand in stark contrast to the outrage some of the same officials expressed in the first week of the Iraq war when Iraqi TV interviewed several captured American soldiers.

       “If there is somebody captured,” President George W. Bush told reporters on March 23, 2003, “I expect those people to be treated humanely. If not, the people who mistreat the prisoners will be treated as war criminals.”

       Then, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, President George W. Bush, and other administration officials orchestrated a chorus of outrage, citing those TV scenes as proof of the Iraq’s government contempt for international law in general and the Geneva Conventions in particular.

       “It is a blatant violation of the Geneva Convention to humiliate and abuse prisoners of war or to harm them in any way. As President Bush said yesterday, those who harm POWs will be found and punished as war criminals,” Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said on March 24, 2003.

       That same day, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told the BBC that “the Geneva Convention is very clear on the rules for treating prisoners.. They’re not supposed to be tortured or abused; they’re not supposed to be intimidated; they’re not supposed to be made public displays of humiliation or insult, and we’re going to be in a position to hold those Iraqi officials who are mistreating our prisoners accountable, and they’ve got to stop.”

       At a March 25, 2003, press briefing about progress in the US-led invasion, Secretary Rumsfeld said, “This war is an act of self-defense, to be sure, but it is also an act of humanity…. In recent days, the world has witnessed further evidence of their [Iraqi] brutality and their disregard for the laws of war. Their treatment of coalition POWs is a violation of the Geneva Conventions.”

    Read the whole article here:

    http://www.antemedius.com/content/bush-administrations-stunning-geneva-hypocrisy

    Obama & Holder Trash Nuremberg Principles (updated)

    A dark, dark day for America.

    “They were only following orders.” This is the opinion of Eric Holder, as offered in his statement today, describing the decision to release four Bush-era Office of Legal Counsel memos. (The memos have just been posted, and link is here.)

    And so the United States government, 64 years after the end of World War II, adopts the infamous slogan of “Befehl ist Befehl” (literally “orders are orders”), otherwise known as the Nuremberg Defense.

    Furthermore, Holder pledges the U.S. government will defend any CIA torturers before any tribunal, domestic or international, pay any fines,  and make every effort to assert “any available immunities and other defenses”.

    “It would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department,” Holder said.

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