politics, history and the war on terror
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
The Non-Torture Memos  

The White House has released internal memos that demonstrate the administration's discussion on the use of torture and the treatment of al Qaeda and Taliban detainees. While the president agreed he had the right to terminate America's obligations under the Geneva and other international conventions, at no point did he do so, nor did he authorize the use of torture.

"I accept the legal conclusion of the attorney general and the Department of Justice that I have the authority under the Constitution to suspend Geneva as between the United States and Afghanistan, but I decline to exercise that authority at this time," the president said in the memo, entitled "Humane Treatment of al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees."
Also listed in the memos are the interrogation techniques authorized by Secretary Rumsfeld.
Haynes also recommended approval of one technique among harsher methods requested by U.S. military authorities at Guantanamo: use of "mild, non-injurious physical contact such as grabbing, poking in the chest with the finger and light pushing." Among the techniques that Rumsfeld approved on Dec. 2, 2002, in addition to the grabbing, the yelling and the stress positions:

* Use of 20-hour interrogations.
* Removal of all comfort items, including religious items.
* Removal of clothing.
* Using detainees' "individual phobias such as fear of dogs to induce stress."
Let's face it, if this is the best the Bush & Rumsfeld Approved of Torture! crowd can come up with, the American public will not be impressed with their attempt to brand the administration as a group of sadistic criminals. Not willing to throw in the towel so soon, Senator Leahy presses on for a deeper investigation into the matter.

Reacting to the White House release, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, accused the administration of continuing to withhold information. "Though this is a self-serving selection, at least it is a beginning," Leahy said. "But for the Judiciary Committee and the Senate to find the whole truth, we will need much more cooperation and extensive hearings."
I respectfully disagree, Senator Leahy, further "extensive hearings" are not what is needed in order to win the War on Terror. We need to put this exercise of self flagellation behind us and continue to pursue our enemies throughout the world. Congressional commissions, hearings and fact finding missions on a matter that is already being investigated and tried in military courts will not help the prosecution of the war. They will only further your desire to provide ammunition against your political enemies, while at the same time provide our enemies with easy propaganda to prove their case of America's decadence. Political witchhunts are not needed, this country needs to unite and stand firm against the enemies of civilization.


The memos are available at the CBS page linked to above, but are also available here (in PDF format):

Memo 1 Application of Treaties and Laws to al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees
Memo 2 National Security Council's Discussion on Status of Taliban Detainees
Memo 3 Status of Taliban Forces Under Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention
Memo 4 Potential Legal Contraints Applicable to Interrogations
Memo 5 Legality of Interrogation Methods
Memo 6 Standards of Conduct for Interrogation

Posted by bill roggio @ 12:36 AM