Who should be punished for torture?
Normally, I try to post funny bits over the weekend, but I can’t let this week’s news slip by.
I have deeply mixed feelings about how to handle those who tortured. On the one hand, they were only following orders. On the other hand, they were following orders which clearly required contortions to see as legal. Soldiers also have a duty to disobey manifestly illegal orders.
- “The OLC Memos” by Gerard Magliocca analyses the analysis, and finds it wanting. (Concurring Opinions)
- “A History of Coercive Interrogation” is Will Levi’s summary of his forthcoming Yale Law Journal article on “Interrogation’s Law.” From the abstract: “Conventional wisdom [is] U.S. authorization of coercive interrogation techniques, and the legal decisions that sanctioned them, constitute a dramatic break with the past. This is false.”
- At Obsidian Wings, Hilzoy makes “The Obvious Comparison” for one newly revealed technique.
- “Torture and “laying blame for the past”” is Sonja Starr’s analysis of the Convention Against Torture, which seems to require prosecution. By this analysis Obama’s dichotomy of “reflection, not retribution” is the wrong one. The correct one is “do we start obeying the laws we passed, or not?” (Concurring Opinions)
- The Unreleased Torture Memo by David Luban has a quite cutting response to the “second-guessing argument” at Balkinization.
As I said, I have mixed feelings about the perhaps legally required prosecution of those who tortured. My feelings about those who authorized it are more varied..they range from hanging to extraordinary rendition under the standards they claimed as legal.
Please keep comments as civil as is reasonable for the topic.