Legalizing torture

Some DoD lawyers signed a memo that said that torture is illegal unless we really, really need to torture someone.

Phil Carter has some thoughts on a DoD legal memo about torture. Read them now. I especially like the idea that “authority to set aside the laws” is “inherent in the President.” GWB, meet James II.

Phil doesn’t note the delicious irony of arguing on the one hand that Guanatanamo is outside the United States for the purpose of denying jursdiction to U.S. courts and at the same time that it’s inside the United States for the prupose of denying that laws dealing with crimes abroad apply there.

I warned Phil four years ago that a specific kind of moral rot is a statistically predictable risk of going to law school. Perhaps this story will convince him (too late, of course; he’s already graduated) that I was right.

Full text of the WSJ story.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

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