The ACLU has obtained four critical OLC torture memos as a result of a FOIA request. [link corrected, sorry about that]
Glen Greenwald has some key excerpts.
They are simply disgusting.
President Obama's statement accompanying the release states, “this is a time for reflection, not retribution.”
Retribution should not begin until you've finished throwing up.
Simply put, there is no supportable justification for not appointing a special prosecutor.
There is nothing in the link you presented that the average American is going to oppose, with the exception of (possibly) water boarding.
So long as there is no actual physical harm, the average American is going to see nothing wrong with using a terrorists fears and phobias against him.
You may disagree, but these memos will go nowhere.
Without getting into the merits, the implicit argument you and the linked-to articles make is not persuasive to the American people. At most, you can get water boarding stopped.
Be reasonable. If there is another attack on US soil then all bets are off, Obama or no Obama.
It’s not retribution. It is the simple application and vindication of the rule of law.
I find it deeply disturbing and frankly, a serious moral and legal issue, that Jay Bybee now sits on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Your link to the memos instead goes to some NYT story about people getting arrested for putting cheese up their nose on YouTube. I’ll admit this was probably much nicer to read than the torture memos, though.
As upsetting as the memos might seem, what’s REALLY shocking about them (and what should truly make us throw up) is not what’s contained within them, but what’s NOT contained within them. I offer two examples that I consider to be pretty glaring omissions:
1. Things like face-slapping and confinement within boxes with insects are explicitly mentioned as being permissible forms of torture. However, the most obvious form, which clearly should have been included – namely, rounding up members of the accused terror suspects’ families, putting them in offices in a skyscraper in some world financial center, and then flying a commercial jet into the building, all while the suspect is forced to watch the episode on television – is not addressed in the memo. Seems to me that this would have been a pretty effective, and legally justifiable, form of torture. Admittedly, the Arab world (with the possible exception of Dubai, as if that were even the Arab world any longer) may not have many skyscrapers, so perhaps a commercial jet could just fly into the Kaaba during the hajj instead.
2. No mention is made of enlisting the aid of Israel in dealing with the accused terror suspects. Israel has been a consistent ally of the United States (arguably the only one) in the Middle East. Israel presumably should be more familiar with the Middle East and the problems that plague it than the US should be expected to be. And, last but not least, Israel has some of the finest military and intelligence organizations of any country in the world, and they are not afraid (thank God) to use these organizations to protect their country and its citizens. While it may not be the United States’ place to formally dictate to another sovereign nation what they should/should not do (although this clearly happens all the time), I think the memos might have addressed how Israel could have played a role in questioning the terror suspects, rather than their being housed at US government expense in a tropical setting.