Memo Authorizing Torture Released

This post was written by marc on June 20, 2004
Posted Under: Bush

Here is the full version of the Memo Authorizing Torture that Bush passed out creating the excuse to torture the prisoners at Abu Ghraib Prison. This memo was written by a lawyer working for John Ashcroft named Jay S. Bybee who has been appointed as a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

This memo is an act of treason and this guy should be in jail – not serving as a judge. I intend to file a judicial complaint against him – as if it would do any good. I hope some prosecutor files criminal charges against this mother fucker.

This memo however is the perfect defense for those at the bottom who are being court martialed for torture. All that have to do is point to the memo and say – “Hey – how I supposed to know it was illegal? A federal judge on the court of appeals thinks it’s legal? Am I – someone who was flipping burgers at McDonalds supposed to know the law better than the Justice Department?”

You see – the responsibility is at the top.

Here’s what really went down. Bush and Rumsfield decided they wanted to torture people. So they said – we need a legal memo to cover our asses – so we can justify this if we get caught. So – Ashcroft gets ByBee to torture the law and write the memo. They were so impressed with his legal twistings that they appointed him to be a federal judge.

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There is this one sound-byte that I will definitely remember for the rest of my life — Al Gore’s: “How dare they subject us to such dishonor and disgrace! How dare they drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud of Saddam Hussein’s torture prison!”

Even though I’ve been very pessimistic on this issue lately, I still find his belief that this bad group of people (the “they”) is finite, and can be replaced if we just vote for Democrats, very inspiring. But I cannot help looking beyond the most observable aspects of these events.

Those words aren’t all that meaningful just in written form, but as Al Gore read them I felt the genuine anger of a genuine patriot. It’s very rare that such strong emotions are so justified. It is very rare that an ideal once so valued, America, is devalued so far. Farther than most Americans currently comprehend. The History of the entire twentieth century was edited during the Bush administration. No longer will America be seen as the absolute good in World War II or the Cold War. Just, at best, the lesser of two evils.

That is the point that will remain, and the silly discussion of how far the blame officially spreads, as the torturers use the “we were just following orders” excuse while the high levels of command pretend that they didn’t know what was going on and wouldn’t have authorized it, is of little relevance. If no absolute evidence is found that Emperor Hirohito and others at the top of the Japanese leadership knew what was happening in their POW camps during WW2, does that leave them blameless? Methinks not.

Yes, that was a ridiculous comparison. Yes, the number of people killed, wounded, and taken as POW’s, and tortured, in the War in Iraq is a rounding error compared to WW2. But some of the psychological aspects are very similar: cultural centricity, preemptive militarism, greed. And the world will come to its own conclusions: That when America wants some “breathing room”, it will unilaterally invade countries and replace their sovereign (yes, by less-than-our-democratic standards, but nonetheless sovereign) leaders with puppet governments. (Germans even had a PR spin that they “liberated” Poland from evil Jews and Communists.) The conclusions that when America wants to torture people, it will. If caught, of course the “few rotten apples” PR is used automatically, disappearing memos and all, that has very little impact.

It was the entire culture of the American military that sparked the war and the abuse; the people who will take the fall for it are just pawns in that process. The Bush administration put the US military in a position of unwarranted power and the Iraqi people in a position of unwarranted helplessness. Given our intentions in Iraq, brutal sadism — whether physical or otherwise, whether photographed or not -– was unavoidable.

From the bully mentality that prevails in every American school to the consumer society that insists on driving the most gas-guzzling cars in the world but spending the least at the gas pump … every single American is in part responsible for the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse.


Written By Alex Libman on June 20th, 2004 @ 10:10 pm

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