This whole Abu Ghraib thing just seems to be spiraling out of control as more memos keep finding their way out of the Pentagon and White House. This newest one lays the groundwork for torture as a self-defense measure, and makes me sick with it’s inferred message that the ends justify the means. The Wall Street Journal (free mirror at Infoshop News) reports in:
“The infliction of pain or suffering per se, whether it is physical or mental, is insufficient to amount to torture,” the report advises. Such suffering must be “severe,” the lawyers advise, and they rely on a dictionary definition to suggest it “must be of such a high level of intensity that the pain is difficult for the subject to endure.”
You know these bastards are evil when they’re arguing over the fucking semantics of torture. Also, check out Billmon’s take on the report in:
Now I have to admit: The idea of using the Nuremberg trial as a field guide for committing war crimes and getting away with it has never occurred to me before. But then, I’m not a Bush administration legal appointee. It’s probably worth remembering, though, that the Nuremberg Tribunal wasn’t particularly impressed by the “I was only following orders” routine: 12 defendents hanged, 3 sentenced to life, 4 given long prison sentences, only 3 acquitted. If I were Donald Rumsfeld, I don’t think I’d like those odds.
[Wall Street Journal]