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What Would People Think?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Quick Thought On The Torture Memos

I've quickly glanced over the Torture Memos, the not-very-objective-but-still-accurate title given to the legal analyses by certain Bush Administration lawyers (i.e. John Yoo, Jay Bybee, Steven Bradbury) which were used to provide a legal cover for "enhanced interrogation techniques." Things like making someone stand in a stressful position for hours, sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures, putting someone in a tiny box with an insect (with the implication that the prisoner thinks it is poisonous) and waterboarding. No matter how much the memos try to dance around it, these things are torture.

I've glanced over the memos, but haven't analyzed them in detail. The thing about the memos that truly chills me to the core is the detached, clinical way they describe heinous acts and analyze whether they violate the law. This is the kind of language I use to analyze whether some company has committed an OSHA violation. This is the kind of language lawyers use to debate whether there has been a breach of contract.

This is not the language used to describe torture. I have to wonder what part of their soul these lawyers had to shut down to think and write like this.


  • The part that years and years of high paying representation of corporations develops... Ok, I might be a little bitter about the relative size of paychecks... But that doesn't mean there isn't at least some validity to my point.

    By Blogger Matthew B. Novak, at 4/16/2009 6:26 PM  

  • I always thought lawyers shut down your entire soul the moment they entered law school?

    (Sorry, couldn't resist a lawyer joke.)

    By Blogger Mike, at 4/17/2009 10:06 AM  

  • This past week has made me so angry my eyes are almost bleeding. People need to go to prison for this.

    By Blogger Zhubin, at 4/22/2009 2:42 PM  

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