Saturday, July 26, 2008

Justice Dept. offers guide on getting away with torture

Here's a story about the Justice Department's handy guide for the CIA on how to torture and get away with it. Basically, between the wink wink nudge nudge it says to me that officers can tell the interrogators that it's not torture, and therefore there's no intent to torture on the part of the interrogators, and it's all good. "To violate the statute, an individual must have the specific intent to inflict severe pain or suffering. Because specific intent is an element of the offense, the absence of specific intent negates the charge of torture. . . . Although an honest belief need not be reasonable, such a belief is easier to establish where there is a reasonable basis for it." Clearly the Bush administration knew that what they were doing was illegal, and thus felt the need to issue this memo to try to skirt the law. No matter whether it's morally wrong or would provide reliable information of course.