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The go-ahead

The working-group report elaborated the Bush administration’s view that the president has virtually unlimited power to wage war as he sees fit, and neither Congress, the courts nor international law can interfere. It concluded that neither the president nor anyone following his instructions was bound by the federal Torture Statute, which makes it a crime for Americans working for the government overseas to commit or attempt torture, defined as any act intended to “inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering.” Punishment is up to 20 years imprisonment, or a death sentence or life imprisonment if the victim dies.

This from the Wall Street Journal, on Monday. The full text of the article has been reproduced elsewhere.

It really makes those articles about our reluctance to employ torture seem naive, doesn’t it? “We don’t sanction torture, but there are psychological and other ways that we can get most of what we need.” Except right around the time Rockefeller said that, Bush’s administration decided that it was OK to sanction torture. Egg on his face.

Phil Carter discusses the difference between advice on how to stay within the law and advice on how to avoid prosecution for breaking the law. Bitter fruit.

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