There are two good analogies that apply to John Yoo and Jay Bybee. Yoo, especially seem to be suffering from O.J. Syndrome – Yoo telling himself everyday that he is not a war criminal and has for all apperances come to believe it. Yoo and Bybee also echo convicted traitor Scooter Libby, except at least Libby was put on trial and his felonies are a matter of record. Yoo and Bybee, predictably have their lackey apologists such as Stuart Taylor, Stuart Taylor’s Stuck Record
Writing behind the paywall at the National Journal, Stuart Taylor makes a sustained effort to defend Jay Bybee and John Yoo. He expresses his support for the analytical approach that Yoo pioneered in the memos, starting with the idea that while techniques like waterboarding may well be “torture” as the term is commonly used, it is not “torture” within the specific definition that Congress put forward. That is the key Yoo premise: that Congress chose to punish only some exotic exceedingly rare kinds of torture. Indeed, Yoo doesn’t seem to be able to identify anything that always constitutes torture, even if it results in death. David Luban makes short work of the Taylor apology ( must reading for those following the issue) in a recent post:
The 1971 OED: “severe or excruciating pain or suffering (of body or mind)….”
Webster’s Third International (1971): “intense pain”
Webster’s Second International (1953): “severe pain” and “extreme pain”
American Heritage Dictionary (1976): “severe physical pain”.
In other words: the colloquial meaning of ‘torture’ is virtually the same as the legal definition. The OED definition, by the way, is so similar to the CAT definition that it seems likely that whoever drafted article 1 of CAT may have drawn on the OED.
There is an update to the post by Luban at Balkinization in which Taylor responds, and once again Luban swats down Taylor’s incredibly lame legal and moral rationalizations. Yoo and Bybee are destined for history’s harshest judgments and deservedly so. They actually deserve worse and should consider themselves lucky they dodged the legal consequences of their actions.
The tears and rants of a clown – Andrew Breitbart’s side of the story – The right-wing provocateur’s backers say anyone would act crazy given how liberals treat him. I would hunt down this huge powerful liberal conspiracy and attend the meetings – if only it actually existed.
ACORN cleared in Brooklyn: ‘No criminality’ – NY Daily News law enforcement source: ‘They edited the tape to meet their agenda’… – “They” would be O’Keefe, with Andrew Breitbart’s hand up his back pulling the strings.
I’m not completely up to speed on their agenda, but the woman that statred it seems to get a basic tenant of the moderate-to-liberal political spectrum, Coffee Party, With a Taste for Civic Participation, Is Added to the Political Menu
The slogan is “Wake Up and Stand Up.” The mission statement declares that the federal government is “not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges we face as Americans.”
Local chapters are planning meetings in cities from Washington to San Antonio to Los Angeles (where there have been four in the last month.) The party (coffeepartyusa.org) is planning nationwide coffee houses for March 13, where people can gather to decide which issues they want to take on and even which candidates they want to support.
Obama to Promote Home Energy Efficiency as Path to Job Growth – between this and the soon to be reconciled Jobs Bill late this year should see some better employment numbers.
The economy grew at a 5.7 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter of last year, the fastest in six years. Manufacturing expanded in February for a seventh consecutive month, indicating factories are leading the U.S. economic recovery, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s factory index.
“Perhaps the biggest challenge facing the economy, as we move from rescue to recovery, is the weak labor market,”