"PBS frontline — cheney’s law": a quick answer to john yoo’s nonsense sound-bite

the p.b.s. frontline installment
captioned “cheney’s law” aired last night
[more on it — including a link to
the full-length episode online, here
],
and it did not disappoint. no new
ground was broken by the piece, but
it certainly offered the whole narrative
in a tightly-focused, well-reasoned whole.

kudos to mike kirk,
the staff at frontline, and PBS. . .

tonight’s “nightly nolo” addresses the
one unanswered sound-bite — offered by john
yoo — he, the author of the torture and rendition
memos for dick cheney and david addington
[all in about a minute, five seconds]:

you see — the only lawful way to take
the course dick cheney would prefer, would
be to renounce the geneva conventions, explicitly.

and that is one step dick cheney
would be never willing to explain — to all
those families of the troops who’ve bled
and died for his wars. . . “gee — we have
decided we really want to torture prisoners
we capture on the battlefield, so. . .
buckle up — sacrifices must be made. . .

that is, are now willing to explicitly
authorize the torture of our own troops
by repealing our signature to the conventions
.”

thankfully, michael mukasey told the senate
judiciary committee this afternoon, that he does
not accept these memos
as in any way reflecting
the actual state of the law. that is, he has
repudiated them
. almost seven years too late,
but at least some sanity is returning, and even
the true conservatives are rediscovering their
voices, and consciences. . .

and so it is. . . not yet
well — but getting better,
day by day — cheney’s “rule
by men, rather than by laws

is slowly coming to an end.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
UPDATED 10.20.07 @10 a.m.

~~~~~~~~~~~

prompted by the fine comments
of leftist moon, and liberality,
below, here are some updated thoughts
on the second day of michael mukasey’s
senate judiciary confirmation hearings:

a graphic from the nytimes.com, to establish
the context here — he waffled on waterboarding:

hey wordsmith — it seems, after
i wrote the above, judge michael
mukasey offered some weasel-like
hedging, in response to questions
from senator whitehouse, in his
second day of testimony, about
torture. he ultimately refused
to say whether specific methods,
including waterboarding, constituted
torture, in his view of the law. . .

well, that is appalling — look far
we’ve fallen — that serious legal
minds would be unsure of such a
proposition. . . perhaps he really
doesn’t know what waterboarding is.

he will learn.

however, what he did say was that
he would not tolerate torture, and
he would conduct a de novo review
of all the memos the administration
has relied on in its interrogations.

not perfect, but a damn far sight
better than gonzales/ashcroft.

thanks for the question!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

and now, lib —

i am so pleased that you were able
to watch the whole thing over the
internet — it made for easy pausing,
and note-taking, for me. . . gotta’
love these new-fangled tubez. . .

the frontline website also holds
one huge, massive, link-laden time
line on the decisions leading toward,
and now, away from, torture. . .

some of the early memos from
howard taft iv, in opposition to
yoo (but still from a bush-
appointed lawyer) — call yoo’s
work “riddled with fundamental
errors. . .” and “based on largely
repudiated lines of cases”.

ouch.

p e a c e

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