December 15, 2014

John Yoo, the former Bush Justice Department official and one of the authors of the nefarious "torture memos," admitted to Fareed Zakaria on CNN that techniques described in the Senate Torture Report and used by the CIA were not authorized from the Justice Dept and indeed were troubling and those that used them are at risk of prosecution.

Zakaria: John, let me start with you. You did author or have authored some of the memos on -- that authorized the use of enhanced interrogation. When you read this report and you read about the techniques that were used, forced rectal feeding, agency officials threatening to rape the mothers of prisoners, people with broken limbs being forced to stand for hours and hours, deprived of sleep for up to one week.

Doesn't that strike you as torture?

Yoo: Well, those are very troubling examples. They would not have been approved by the Justice Department. They were not approved by the Justice Department at the time.

Yoo: But I agree. Look, Fareed, I agree with you, if these things happened as they are described in the report, as you describe them, those were not authorized by the Justice Department. They were not supposed to be done and those people who did those are at risk legally because they were acting outside their orders.

John "torture" Yoo did hem and haw over the report itself as have all the torture apologists so far, but he still had to maintain that what occurred was indeed torture. And people need to be prosecuted over it.

There are 38,000 foot notes that accompany the report which makes it very exhaustive in its scope, but just as telling is how frightening those footnotes are. Here are some highlights for you to peruse.

John Yoo says that the committee cherry picked the worst examples to make a political point, but torture is torture and the examples given in the report are too numerous to be discounted even by apologists. Even more troubling is the idea that John Yoo, who provided cover for the U.S. to get away with torturing detainees on a legal basis had a big problem with many of the EITs the CIA used. This also undermines Dick Cheney and Jose Rodriguez 's claims that the CIA didn't torture anybody. Of course they did.

I will talk at a later time about the media's willingness to let the government define how we discuss EITs or enhanced interrogation techniques instead of calling it what it actually is--torture.

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