Saturday, September 16, 2006

Rules are "context sensitive"?

Over at the Washington Post, Jeffrey Smith has a great analysis of the current debate on handling interrogations.
On the surface, Bush's proposal requires that interrogations in the previously secret CIA prison system comply with legal rules written by Congress last year. Privately, the administration has concluded that doing so would allow the CIA to keep using virtually all the interrogation methods it has employed for the past five years, the officials said.

That conclusion is based on an unpublicized memo to the CIA from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, which named the precise interrogation methods the department believed to be sanctioned by last year's broadly written congressional requirement that no U.S. detainees "shall be subject to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" as those terms are defined in U.S. laws.
Well, since they are clearly tactics which are not against the law, perhaps we ought to institute these techniques for use by American police forces in the conduct of their law enforcement activities. Let's waterboard suspects and see who confesses.

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