An April 12th, while the media was obsessing over whether or not Barack Obama dissed rural voters, the Bush administration releasedÃ‚Â a secret memo authored by the Department of Justice (DOJ) asserting that President Bush has unlimited power to order brutal interrogations to extract information from detainees was declassified today as a result of an American Civil Liberties Union Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The memo, written by John Yoo, then a deputy at the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), was sent to the Defense Department in March 2003.
“Senior officials at the Justice Department gave the Pentagon the green light to torture prisoners,” said Amrit Singh, an ACLU staff attorney. “It is outrageous that none of these high-level officials have been brought to task yet for their role in authorizing prisoner abuse.”
In many respects, the March 2003 memo released today parrots the advice previously given to the CIA. In other ways, however, the 2003 memo goes even further. For example, it argues Ã¢â‚¬â€ without any qualification Ã¢â‚¬â€ that, during wartime, the president’s Commander-in-Chief power overrides the due process guarantee of the Fifth Amendment.
“The memo shows that the same disgraceful legal analysis that was at the root of the CIA’s illegal interrogation program was also at the root of the Defense Department’s program,” said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project. “The memo takes an extremely broad view of the president’s power as Commander-in-Chief. If you believe this memo, there is no limit at all to the kinds of interrogation methods the President can authorize.”
The complete text of the ACLU press release can be found here.
Of course we all know that we do not torture detainees.Ã‚Â The President told us so. It must be true.
Of course, this autopsy of a detainee who died as a result of homicide.Ã‚Â That was the opinion of Defense Department investigators, here.
From bewert over at DailyKos,Ã‚Â here are some of the details from the autopsy.
The remains are received clad in a white shirt, white pajama type pants, and white undershorts. Feces covers the clothing from the waist down….There is gauze dressing on the left wrist. No other evidence of medical intervention is noted…. The right chest wall has fractures of ribs three through seven anteriorly and ribs six through twelve posteriorly. The left chest wall has fractures of ribs two through nine anteriorly and ribs seven through twelve posteriorly. There are fractures of the lateral aspect of ribs nine and ten on the left side.Ã‚Â There is a horizontal fracture through the mid-portion of the body of the sternum.”
This 47-year-old White male, [redacted], died of blunt force injuries and asphyxia. The autopsy disclosed multiple blunt force injuries,including deep contusions of the chest wall, numerous displaced rib fractures, lung contusions, and hemorrhage into the mesentery of the small and large intestine. An examination of the neck structures revealed hemorrhage into the strap muscles and fractures of the thyroid cartilage and hyoid bone. According to the investigative report provided by U.S. Army CID, the decedent was shackled to the top of a doorframe with a gag in his mouth at the time he lost consciousness and became pulseless.
The severe blunt force injuries, the hanging position, and the obstruction of the oral cavity with a gag contributed to this individual’s death. The manner of death is homicide.
And then there was this, also from the ACLU.
In a stunning admission to ABC news Friday night, President Bush declared that he knew his top national security advisers discussed and approved specific details of the CIA’s use of torture. Bush reportedly told ABC, “I’m aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved.” Bush also defended the use of waterboarding.
The American Civil Liberties Union is calling on Congress to demand an independent prosecutor to investigate possible violations by the Bush administration of laws including the War Crimes Act, the federal Anti-Torture Act, and federal assault laws.
“No one in the executive branch of government can be trusted to fairly investigate or prosecute any crimes since the head of every relevant department, along with the president and vice president, either knew or participated in the planning and approval of illegal acts,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “Congress cannot look the other way; it must demand an independent investigation and independent prosecutor.”
ABC’s recent news story is available online here.
I have reached the conclusion that all the debate over the Olympics and China and Chinese opression of the people of Tibet is pointless. Bush belongs with the torture loving Chinese government.Ã‚Â They are a match made in hell.
I really hate this man, George W. Bush.Ã‚Â He is indeed the not only the worst President ever, but also the greatest international war criminal in the world today.
“America doesn’t torture.” Right.