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I suppose Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) wishes she had the power as the final arbiter of the peremptory norms (jus cogens) of international law and civilized nations she imagines when it comes to torture:

Jan 10th, 2009 | WASHINGTON — As President-elect Barack Obama assures intelligence officials that his complaints are with the Bush administration, not them, there are growing hints from Democratic Senate allies that spy agency veterans will not be prosecuted for past harsh interrogation and detainee policies.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein told The Associated Press in an interview this week that there is a clear distinction between those who made the policies and those who carried them out.

“They (the CIA) carry out orders and the orders come from the (National Security Council) and the White House, so there’s not a lot of policy debate that goes on there,” she said…

[emphasis added]

If the law, or ideals, and history mean anything:

Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nüremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, 1950.

Principle I

Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefor and liable to punishment.

Principle IV

The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.

[emphasis added]

Acquiescing to the order just to keep your job doesn’t cut it as an excuse.

A Small Clique Of Legal Extremists…

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

– in force September 8, 1992

Article 4. 1 . In time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation and the existence of which is officially proclaimed, the States Parties to the present Covenant may take measures derogating from their obligations under the present Covenant to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, provided that such measures are not inconsistent with their other obligations under international law and do not involve discrimination solely on the ground of race, colour, sex, language, religion or social origin.

2. No derogation from articles 6, 7, 8 (paragraphs I and 2), 11, 15, 16 and 18 may be made under this provision. 3. Any State Party to the present Covenant availing itself of the right of derogation shall immediately inform the other States Parties to the present Covenant, through the intermediary of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, of the provisions from which it has derogated and of the reasons by which it was actuated. A further communication shall be made, through the same intermediary, on the date on which it terminates such derogation.

Article 7. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation….

[emphasis added]

The prohibition of torture is a non-derogable human right under international law. That is, no treaty, no law, and no executive order can remove that prohibition nor can anyone be absolved of responsibility by a unilateral fiat.

Dianne Feinstein is an idiot.