Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Torture: The Military's Dissent

Neil Lewis reports in tomorrow's New York Times that four of the military's highest-ranking lawyers argued in February and March of 2003 against the position on torture that developed in the Bush Administration beginning with the August 2002 Justice Department memorandum, a document that both defined torture very narrowly and argued for a very expansive definition of the powers of the president to authorize otherwise illegal interrogation methods. The military lawyers worried that the Justice Department's position on interrogations would not protect soldiers against criminal prosecutions either at home or abroad.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a former military lawyer himself, deserves great credit for making the relevant memorandums public and for continuing to push for laws to ensure that the United States will not continue to violate international law in its treatment of enemy combatants.

[Update: Marty Lederman at Balkinization has posted the memos here.]