These people knew full well what they were doing; there is a growing documentary record of their criminality; and their own "subjective views" that they were only doing it to save the state are what every war criminal has always claimed. Yoo's memo, drawing on Serbian fascist precedents, cannot conceivably be understood as anything but a candid backing for torture. The man has said he'd be fine if the president crushed the testicles of a terror suspect's child to get a confession, true or not.BTW, the "Stu" referenced above is Stuart Taylor, a writer who first came to prominence with his fatwa against former President Clinton, when lying under oath about an affair was considered an impeachable offense. No doubt, Taylor can ably perform the role of defense attorney in Belgium.
Rumsfeld's own hand-writing is on a memo fiddling with techniques devised by the Gestapo. And what does Stu think Cheney meant by "the dark side", for Pete's sake? That we know these people, that they are part of the Washington elite, even friends, should not render us indifferent to the most basic principles of decency and the rule of law.
Cheney and Addington and Bush actively, relentlessly and surreptitiously broke the law, rescinded the Geneva Conventions, approved memos that are laughable hack work in retrospect, used false confessions procured by torture as rationales to go to war, and destroyed the moral reputation of the US, the honor of the armed services and the rule of law. They are immensely powerful, privileged, wealthy men. And they are war criminals, under the strictest interpretation of that term. They have shifted blame on the lowest of the low, while fixing the system to protect them from accountability.
America doesn't pardon war criminals. It prosecutes and, in the past, has even executed them for the same techniques that Bush and Rumsfeld and Cheney endorsed.
July 18, 2008
Just on the off chance he wins, I've been torn by whether Obama should begin the process of assuring that a debacle like the last eight years never happens again by creating an American version of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, or simply deporting Cheney, Yoo, Rumsfeld, and their enablers in the punditocracy to the Hague. Here, Andrew Sullivan eloquently lays out the case for the latter option: