Monday, November 07, 2005

The Paper Trail

Via Froomkin:
Jane Mayer writes in the New Yorker that administration policies may preclude the prosecution of CIA agents who commit abuses or even kill detainees.

Mayer writes: "The Bush Administration has resisted disclosing the contents of two Justice Department memos that established a detailed interrogation policy for the Pentagon and the C.I.A. A March, 2003, classified memo was 'breathtaking,' the same source said. The document dismissed virtually all national and international laws regulating the treatment of prisoners, including war-crimes and assault statutes, and it was radical in its view that in wartime the President can fight enemies by whatever means he sees fit. According to the memo, Congress has no constitutional right to interfere with the President in his role as Commander-in-Chief, including making laws that limit the ways in which prisoners may be interrogated. Another classified Justice Department memo, issued in August, 2002, is said to authorize numerous 'enhanced' interrogation techniques for the C.I.A. These two memos sanction such extreme measures that, even if the agency wanted to discipline or prosecute agents who stray beyond its own comfort level, the legal tools to do so may no longer exist. . . .
Looks like Wilkerson was right, there is a smoking gun.

The question remains. Will Congress provide oversight? Patriot anywhere?


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