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The former chief speechwriter for dubya sounds off in the paper:

The Washington Post

2,688 Days

By Marc A. Thiessen

Thursday, January 22, 2009; Page A17

…During the campaign, Obama described the techniques used to prevent these attacks as “torture.” He promised that if elected, he would “have the Army Field Manual govern interrogation techniques for all United States Government personnel and contractors.” If he follows through, he will effectively kill a program that stopped al-Qaeda from launching another Sept. 11-style attack. It was easy for Obama the candidate to criticize the CIA program. But as president, what will he do when the next senior al-Qaeda leader — with actionable intelligence on plots to strike our homeland — is captured and refuses to talk? Will the president allow the CIA to question this terrorist using enhanced interrogation techniques? If Obama refuses and our country is attacked, he will bear responsibility…

No, you putz, if America is attacked you and your ilk will bear responsibility because of your gross incompetence which has weakened the country over those “2,688 days”.

Apparently Thiessen has been watching far too many episodes of 24, waiting and hoping for that big writing break. Go. Read the whole thing. The comments in response are priceless.

From a declaration [pdf] recently filed in a habeas corpus petition on behalf a detainee by Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, former prosecutor at the Office of Military Commissions – Prosecution at Guantanamo:

…Furthermore, there was nothing about Mr. Jawad’s personal history to suggest that he would be targeted for abuse in the course of his interrogation sessions or his subsequent imprisonment…

…I later learned that Mr. Jawad had in fact been abused, both physically and mentally, at different times during his captivity, as I will detail below. Had I known of this abuse, I may very well have refrained from recommending the referral of charges…

…Likewise, at the time Mr. Jawad was charged we were not particularly focused or even much concerned about Mr. Jawad’s status as a juvenile…

…I reviewed a redacted copy of a report prepared by a Behavioral Science Consultation Team psychologist, who prepared an assessment of Mr. Jawad’s mental condition. The psychological assessment was not done to assist in identifying and treating any emotional or psychological disturbances Mr. Jawad might have been suffering from. It was instead conducted to assist the interrogators in extracting information from Mr. Jawad, even exploiting his mental vulnerabilities to do so. This rank betrayal of a supposed healer’s professional obligations toward a detainee entitled to humane treatment struck me as particularly despicable. From my perspective, this officer had employed his or her professional training and expertise in a profoundly unethical manner…

So much for “senior al-Qaeda leader”. Go. Read the whole thing.

As for all those torture advocates working in dubya’s administration?:

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 III

The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible Government official does not relieve him from responsibility under international law.

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.

Principle VII

Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.