How High Did the Decision Go For Tactics to Use on Detainees
One of the principal authors of the torture memos, John Yu, was on Talk of the Nation yesterday telling us all that, of course, no one ever authorized illegal actions when dealing with prisoners captured during the execution of the war on terror. And he was very pleased to be part of a country where the really bad apples who operated outside the law were found and stopped. Here's some of what he said:
TOTN: Lots of people concluded that that the administration gave a green light to extreme tactics including torture.
Yu: No one in the leadership ever said we were going to engage in physical abuse. What was always said is be aggressive, but be within the law, be forward leaning but stay with what the laws permits.
Prof Yu, currently of the Berkeley law school, certainly doesn't believe he did anything to compromise the ethics of our democracy. And of course, the president had every right to treat al Qaeda outside the bounds of the Geneva convention. After all they were not a nation, didn't honor any agreed upon treaties and showed that they were outside the agreed upon rules of war.
Yu also said: the president can abrogate any treaty he wants unilaterly, just like he broke the ARMS control treaty that had stopped our weaponizing outer space. Bush is simply acting like Lincoln did during the civil war. (I'm sure Lincoln would be pleased to see how his actions during the civil war are used to justify Bush's war.)
One thing that Yu did emphasize, the country is fighting two wars, one that is the War On Terror where anything goes on those captured and one that is the war in Iraq were things like the Geneva Convention still apply. These two wars are not the same and do require different tactics.
Glad we got it straight that all this talk about the leadership condoning torture is simply wrong according to Prof Yu.