Balkinization on John Yoo Testimony,
John claims that the 2004 Levin torture memo, which superseded his 2002 OLC opinion, concluded that all interrogation methods OLC had previously approved as legal “were still legal.” We now know that that’s dead wrong.
Digby’s piece on David Addington and John Yoo the arrogant twit twins of torture,
It seems like both of them are being evasive but for completely different reasons. Addington ought to be held in contempt of Congress for just plain contemptuousness. As Scott Horton noted on Pacifica’s coverage, he clearly believes himself to be smarter than all the Representatives in the room, and he has no problem bullying them around the way he reportedly bullies everyone in the executive branch. He also doesn’t mind lying about his role in designing torture tactics after a personal trip to Guantanamo. He essentially said, according to Horton, that the world is very dangerous and the threat is not yet over. implying that Congress had better back down with all the questioning and recognize that absolutely anything can be done in the name of protecting the country.
The argument that Bush and his legal flacks have always make is that torture through some mystical properity it posesses somehow makes the U.S. safer. More rational people with some actual military and intelligence experience disagree, former army intelligence officer Stuart Herrington,
“If we use torture when we question prisoners, we forfeit the right to demand that anyone treat our soldiers decently if they are taken prisoner,”
Ken Robinson formerly with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency (NSA),
“Our place in the world has been eroded” by the use of torture in interrogations at “war-on-terror” prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.
Former FBI interrogator Jack Cloonan has said that torture enhances the reputation of those tortured if they are actual terrorists among other terrorists and serves to motivate others.
Brigadier General James Cullen (Ret) was among 12 retired Admirals and Generals who sent letters to former Attorney General Gonxales objecting to the Bush’s torture policy because torture “fostered greater animosity toward the United States, undermined our intelligence gathering efforts, and added to the risks facing our troops serving around the world.”
Here’s a recent headline in The New York Times: “Deals with Iraq Are Set to Bring Oil Giants Back.” Read on: “Four western companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power.”
There you have it. After a long exile, Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP are back in Iraq. And on the wings of no-bid contracts — that’s right, sweetheart deals like those given Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater. The kind of deals you get only if you have friends in high places. And these war profiteers have friends in very high places.
There’s a good reason to send your kid off to die, to protect Exxon’s bottom line.
WICKSOL: When was the last time you pumped your own gas and how much did it cost?
MCCAIN: Oh, I don’t remember. Now there’s Secret Service protection. But I’ve done it for many, many years. I don’t recall and frankly, I don’t see how it matters.