June 8, 2004

"A Dictatorship Would Be A Heck Of A Lot Easier, There's No Question About It." WaPo: "In August 2002, the Justice Department advised the White House that torturing al Qaeda terrorists in captivity abroad 'may be justified,' and that international laws against torture 'may be unconstitutional if applied to interrogations' ... [The memo] added that arguments centering on 'necessity and self-defense could provide justifications that would eliminate any criminal liability' later. ... 'It is by leaps and bounds the worst thing I've seen since this whole Abu Ghraib scandal broke,' said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch. 'It appears that what they were contemplating was the commission of war crimes and looking for ways to avoid legal accountability.'" ... A complete copy of the report is expected to be published on the Internet soon.

Monday's Wall Street Journal (no link): "To protect subordinates should they be charged with torture, the memo advised that Mr. Bush issue a 'presidential directive or other writing' that could serve as evidence, since authority to set aside the laws is 'inherent in the president.'" ... Did you catch that? These criminals claim that "authority to set aside the laws is 'inherent in the president'" ... Josh Marshall: "That claim alone should stop everyone in their tracks and prompt a serious consideration of the safety of the American republic under this president." ... Some discussion and many other news links here.

[Title quote, George W. Bush, Business Week, July 30, 2001]

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