Okay for US to Torture

The following is a declassified copy of one of the 2003 “Yoo Memos” issued by William J. Haynes II, (General Counsel of the Department of Defence) and written by John C. Yoo, then a deputy in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

In the memo they argue that torture of foreign nationals is lawful if it takes place offshore and that they are “enemy combatants” (whatever that means). It was rescinded, but until nine months later.

Sent to the Pentagon’s general counsel in 2003 by John Yoo, the memo provides an argument for almost unlimited presidential power in a time of war. The memo contends that numerous laws and treaties forbidding torture or cruel treatment should not apply to U.S. interrogations that take place in foreign lands because of the president’s wartime powers.

banksy guantanamo bay

In other words, in time war the US are above the law. Quite a few famous historical people have believed that too, Hitler included.

“If a government defendant were to harm an enemy combatant during an interrogation in a manner that might arguably violate a criminal prohibition, he would be doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the al Qaeda terrorist network,” Yoo wrote. “In that case, we believe that he could argue that the executive branch’s constitutional authority to protect the nation from attack justified his actions.”

Thanks to Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing for this. See his blog. Some of the comments that people have added to his post are incredible and awful.

I think that if a nation abandons their morals and values in order to defend their morals and values, their enemy has already won and they have nothing left to defend. The Bible tells us that morals and values is the very thing that exalts a nation.

PDF link to memo, Washington Post article

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