Saturday, April 18, 2009

The torture memos -- glad we know, but now what?

I still haven't read the four "torture" memos President Obama released on Thursday. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe even later tonight, though it's getting later and they don't strike me as cheeful bvedtime reading. Meantime, here's part of the post I did for the Register's Orange Punch blog, which includes links to the memos themselves if you're interested in downloading theem, and to quite a few comments from people who have read them:

The ACLU’s news release. A 8/8/02 memo from Jay Bybee (18 pp, pdf.). A 5/10/05 memo from Steven Bradbury (46 pp. pdf.). Another 5/10/05 memo from Steven Bradbury (20 pp, pdf.). A 5/30/05 memo from Steven Bradbury (40 pp., pdf.).

I’m not sure what to think about Obama/Holder’s announcement that there would be no further investigation/prosecution of CIA people who acted in good faith in reliance on the legal advice contained in these memos. You could argue that it’s like the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commissions — better to get the truth out than to worry about prosecution. Or you could argue that failure to prosecute is justice denied. I can see a case either way.

I understand that some of this stuff is pretty graphic. Comments from people I generally respect here, here, here, and here. And from some I don’t respect so much here and here and here.


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