Tuesday, February 23, 2010

When war comes to the Homeland, the Geneva Convention falls



A fascinating interview on San Francisco's KQED "Forum" this morning.

According to former Bush administration attorney John Yoo, Congress could simply have said "no" to George W. Bush and prevented the illegal war in Iraq. And they could have said "no" to funding the wars. Congress still exerts an enormous influence over the Presidency, he claims. He fails to mention that, to gain support for Bush's decision to invade Iraq, Congress was intentionally misled. And once our forces were committed, the Administration continually waved the "support our troops or else" banner whenever supplemental funding bills went before Congress.

Unapologetic and clearly in a different world than many of us, Yoo explains that the "torture memo" he crafted assured that when we tortured Abu Zubaydah and others, we were careful to have doctors present to assure the detainees were healthy enough to endure the torture.

In Yoo's view, September 11th changed everything. Under these extreme circumstances, the treaties and conventions we signed banning torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners need not be honored. Yoo said the Adminstration feared that further attacks might be imminent. And those who in the past used torture did not act from similar fears?

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