Another war criminal walks free

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On Wednesday – the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that former Bush legal advisor John Yoo – who wrote legal memos giving cover to the President to commit the war crime of torture – can’t be sued by the victims of that torture. Jose Padilla was declared an “enemy combatant” in 2002 – and claims he was subjected to three years of torture while in custody.

But the court rejected Padilla’s claim that he suffered “gross physical and psychological abuse,” and ruled that interrogation techniques did not necessarily amount to torture, despite how “appalling” they may be. So once again the gaping moral wound left by the torturous Bush administration goes unhealed.

Thom Hartmann Administrator's picture
Thom Hartmann A...
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No statue of limitations on War Crimes.

Weasels without conscience are happy to line their pockets fingering the holes in the dike piecemeal.

The two groups deserve each other and will eventually get to spend a long, long time together.

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Rodger97321
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Thom Hartmann:

But the court rejected Padilla’s claim that he suffered “gross physical and psychological abuse,” and ruled that interrogation techniques did not necessarily amount to torture, despite how “appalling” they may be. So once again the gaping moral wound left by the torturous Bush administration goes unhealed.

Apparently these three judges, two appointed by Clinton, one by Bush, decided there was a debate taking place when Padilla claims he was being abused, and that abuse is therefore not subject to the law since, according to the opinion, written by Judge Raymond C. Fisher, while the judges conceded that such treatment does constitute torture, they claimed that during the period in question there was a “debate” over the definition of torture that had not yet been resolved.

"There was at that time considerable debate, both in and out of government, over the definition of torture as applied to specific interrogation techniques," Judge Raymond Fisher wrote for the appeals panel. "In light of that debate...we cannot say that any reasonable official in 2001-03 would have known that the specific interrogation techniques allegedly employed against Padilla, however appalling, necessarily amounted to torture."

(Source)

So, as long as the lords in the White House can raise a debate while they commit their crimes, though not necessarily a legal one, there's a good chance the judges can later find an intricate if pretzel logic-like way to extricate fellow legal advisers (like John Yoo) from embarrassment of due legal process for their legal advisement involving the abridgment of anyone's civil rights in this process. Please do not be alarmed.

Another factor worth some attention in these nepotistic court actions is that Jay Bybee, co-author with Yoo in the torture memos, also a high-ranking Bush Justice Department official in this affair, was appointed to the Ninth Circuit Court position by Bush in 2003. After his role in the torture memos came to light, there has been no effort to impeach a sitting federal judge. Thank you Congress.

Now, if this ruling is not overturned by the Supreme Court with its five fellow Federalist Society Justices dominationg over the four others, Bybee and Yoo will have been effectively barred from civil lawsuits for their actions.

An initial review by the Justice Department's internal affairs unit found that Yoo and Jay Bybee – another high-ranking official in Bush's Department of Justice – had committed professional misconduct, a conclusion that could have cost them their law licenses. But, underscoring just how controversial and legally thorny the memos have become, the Justice Department's top career lawyer reviewed the matter and disagreed."

This decision should not be viewed as an endorsement of the legal work that underlies those memoranda," Assistant Deputy Attorney General David Margolis wrote in a memo released in February 2010.

(Source)

And then they try to tell us this is still a democracy.

.ren's picture
.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

Why isn't the Whitehouse and the democrats in congress demanding justice? A deafening silence. There in lies the problem. Want blame? Start in your own backyard.

rigel1's picture
rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 7:49 am

Because the power to enforce is in the SCOTUS, they see no wrong with the party that appointed them. Hell if they they can deny the entire country their voting rights, what's the problem with a few prisoners being denied due process or human rights. Human rights only apply to those the criminal 3 and their 2 new criminal minded deem worthy.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote douglaslee:

Because the power to enforce is in the SCOTUS, they see no wrong with the party that appointed them. Hell if they they can deny the entire country their voting rights, what's the problem with a few prisoners being denied due process or human rights. Human rights only apply to those the criminal 3 and their 2 new criminal minded deem worthy.

Not a very good excuse. If there is an injustice, we are allowed to point it out. During the Bush admin Pelosi was calling everything torture. If Achmed did not get ice in his coke it was torture. She demanded that gitmo be closed. Now she seems to have a case of stage fright. If a war criminal is walking, it is their duty to point it out.

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rigel1
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