Sunday :: Feb 19, 2006

Another Warning Ignored

by Steve

Are you surprised to learn that two years before the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, the U. S. Navy’s general counsel warned his superiors that ignoring international law on detainee treatment would only encourage torture and abuse? And yes, he was ignored.

The Navy's general counsel warned Pentagon officials two years before the Abu Ghraib prison scandal that circumventing international agreements on torture and detainees' treatment would invite abuse, according to a published report.
Legal theories granting the president the right to authorize abuse despite the Geneva Conventions were unlawful, dangerous and erroneous, then-General Counsel Alberto J. Mora advised officials in a secret memo. The 22-page document was obtained by the New Yorker for an article in its Feb. 27 issue.

Now we know what Hersh has been working on.

It also indicates that some lawyers in the Justice and Defense departments objected to the legal course the administration undertook, according to the report.
Mora said Navy intelligence officers reported in 2002 that military-intelligence interrogators at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were engaging in escalating levels of physical and psychological abuse rumored to have been authorized at a high level in Washington.
"I was appalled by the whole thing," Mora told the magazine. "It was clearly abusive and it was clearly contrary to everything we were ever taught about American values."
Mora said he thought his concerns were being addressed by a special group set up by the Pentagon. But he discovered in January 2003 that a Justice Department opinion had negated his arguments with what he described as "an extreme and virtually unlimited theory of the extent of the president's commander in chief authority."

Those would be the same arguments that Bush and Cheney are using to claim imperial authority when it comes to domestic spying.

Steve :: 9:28 PM :: Comments (17) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!