Friday, April 17, 2009

Wherein your humble blogger unleashes some more faux outrage


Karzai explains how that pesky marital rape provision got into the Shia family law he signed: he didn’t notice it was in there because the bill “has so many articles.” So that’s okay, then.



Obama, in a press conference with Mexican President Calderón: “the relationship between Mexico and the United States cannot just be defined by drugs.”



Bush’s CIA director Michael Hayden and his last attorney general Michael Mukasey have an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal condemning the release of the torture memos.

For a start, it gives future detainees advance warning of what they will experience: “There would be little point in the president authorizing measures whose nature and precise limits have already been disclosed in detail to those whose resolve we hope to overcome.” Little point, because Al Qaida would just give its members anti-waterboarding vaccines.

“Disclosure of the techniques is likely to be met by faux outrage, and is perfectly packaged for media consumption.” Evidently they can’t conceive of the possibility that people might oppose torture for reasons other than political gain. They’ve heard of people having moral principles, they just don’t believe they really exist.

They warn that in future CIA officers will be unwilling to torture: “Even with a seemingly binding opinion in hand, which future CIA operations personnel would take the risk? There would be no wink, no nod, no handshake that would convince them that legal guidance is durable. Any president who wants to apply such techniques without such a binding and durable legal opinion had better be prepared to apply them himself.” I’m pretty sure there’s no such thing in law as a “binding opinion,” even from the Justice Department. Kind of a contradiction in terms, really. Although if legal precedent is what they want, a few trials of CIA torturers and their superiors might establish just that, no winks, nods, or handshakes required.-

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