06/16/2004: Thought for the Day:
In a wonderful example of circularity, the lawyers state: "The Department of Justice has opined that [the federal war-crimes statute] does not apply to conduct toward al-Qaida or Taliban operatives because the president has determined that they are not entitled to the protections of Geneva and the Hague Regulations." It's never a good sign when lawyers refer to other lawyers' opinions (as opposed to laws or court decisions) as authority for a legal argument. Here, the reason for this self-referential passage is obvious: No court or legislature has said the president has the power to unilaterally nullify a signed treaty and a federal statute. This argument can be bolstered only with legal memoranda from other executive branch attorneys who have drunk the Kool-Aid.
--Philip Carter [on the DoD/DoJ torture memoranda]
Len on 06.16.04 @ 07:01 AM CST