Pacific Tides
My name is Thomas Sturm and I'm a programmer, photographer and writer.

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Memo From Hell

So sometime in 2002 somebody in the White House thought that it is a good idea to do some research on torture and on how to avoid to break federal laws while doing it.

Here is the result, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.

This is "How to Avoid War Crime Tribunals For Dummies" as the All Spin Zone points out. In short, this memo constructs a legal case that allows the US President during wartime to order anybody on this planet to be tortured. As long as the chain of command goes back to the President, it would be completely legal. This is of course bullshit, as has been pointed out by legal experts and anybody with an ounce of moral fiber in their body.

Now as horribly misguided as this attempt to legalize torture is, it allows for some fascinating speculation... if this memo has indeed been used by the White House to guide their decisionmaking in the Iraq war, then we know now where the buck stops in the case of the prison torture in Abu Ghraib - right at the top. This memo does not allow for anybody else to order the torture (whatever you want to call it - abuse, softening, interogation techniques, I don't care.) other than the President of the United States.

Well, at least that's cleared up then.

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