June 09, 2004

Contradictions on torture 

posted by Paul Smith @ 7:25 PM
Nina Totenberg had a great segment on tonight's All Things Considered on just how consistent our executive branch is when it comes to torture.

She simply described the arguments by which the recently leaked Justice Department and Pentagon memos rationalize the President's authority to set aside signed agreements prohibiting torture vis-à-vis his role as Commander-in-Chief, and then she played clips of the Bush Administration's counsel contradicting the basis for these claims in front of the Supreme Court, in the context of the April hearing of the "enemy combatants" case.

I don't think counsel was trying to undermine the legal claims of these memos (of course, at the time, the public had no idea they existed). I think they were just trying to win the case in front of them. Earlier, needing to provide justification for torture, they choose a different set of foundational arguments.

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