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Suppressed 2006 Zelikow Memo Against Torture Released

April 5, 2012

The State Department has released a copy of the February 15, 2006 memo by Philip Zelikow arguing that the "enhanced interrogation techniques" used to question detainees were illegal. The Bush administration had sought to destroy all copies of the memo.

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Did Torture of Prisoners Constitute Human Experimentation?

June 8, 2010

     The organization Physicians for Human Rights has released a report contending that the United States government engaged in human experimentation on prisoners detained in the war on terror.  In connection with this assertion I have included information about what was done to prisoners so that you may judge for yourself.

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Margolis' Reasoning in the Torture Memos Case – Part 2

February 24, 2010

     In yesterday's post I described the legal reasoning that Jay Bybee and John Yoo used to justify subjecting prisoners under American control to slow drowning, the cold cell, shackling in a standing position for days at time, and confinement in a small box.  Today I describe why David Margolis, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, does […]

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Justice Department Concludes that John Yoo and Jay Bybee Exercised "Poor Judgment" But Not "Professional Misconduct" in Issuance of the "Torture Memos" (Part 1)

February 23, 2010

    The Justice Department's investigation into the role of Justice Department lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee in the approval of conduct that many people regard as torture has come to a close.  The Office of Professional Responsibility recommended that Yoo and Bybee be referred to disciplinary committees for their role in this matter, on […]

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Does President Barack Obama Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?

October 15, 2009

     In my opinion, yes. He stopped the practice of torture, and he has vowed to withdraw from Iraq. More generally, he has restored the Rule of Law in the United States.

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More Thoughts on the Torture Prosecution

August 26, 2009

     One of the persons who is dearest to me sent me a long critique of Eric Holder's decision to investigate whether or laws were broken when C.I.A. agents or contractors utilized unauthorized interrogation techniques.  My answer to this loved one is below.

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Michael Ratner's Criticism of Obama's Position on Prisoners of War

May 22, 2009

     Yesterday evening Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, strongly criticized President Obama's plans to detain prisoners in the war against al-Qaeda and to try persons accused of war crimes in military courts.  Ratner stated that military commissions are used only during or after a "real war" and that people may not […]

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Why Torture Violates Fundamental Constitutional Values

April 28, 2009

     The Justice Department memos (1, 2, 3, 4)  authored by Jay Bybee and Stephen Bradbury leave no doubt that beginning in 2002 our government tortured prisoners who were in our custody.  If you believe that chaining naked persons in an upright position to keep them awake for more than seven days in a row, spraying them with […]

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Strip-searching children is necessary to protect our children!

April 21, 2009

That's seems to be the basic argument before the Supreme Court today. The case is Safford United School District v. Redding, which involves school officials strip-searching an honor student in search of prescription ibuprofen. I was listening to a story about it on NPR today, when i heard the school's lawyer making this argument: "We […]

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A Warning for Future Lawyers

April 21, 2009

If you've been following the matter of the "torture memos" recently released by the Obama administration you know that the President has determined that CIA operatives following legal guidance provided by the (previous) Administration should not be subject to prosecution. But apparently that leaves open the possibility that officials who approved the "enhanced interrogation" policies […]

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Stephen Bradbury's Torture Memos of May 10, 2005

April 21, 2009

     In two memos both dated May 10, 2005 (Memo 3 and Memo 4), Assistant Attorney General Stephen Bradbury explains in precise detail exactly how the CIA treated its prisoners during the administration of George W. Bush. 

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Revelations in Bybee's Memo of August 1, 2002

April 19, 2009

     The first of the four recently released "torture memos" was written by Assistant Attorny General Jay Bybee, who is now a federal judge.  The most striking revelations contained in this memo relate to the specific interrogation techniques that United States officials designed, approved, and carried out and the important role played by medical professionals in the design […]

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