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Justice Dept. Releases Bush Administration Memos on Torture, Rendition, & Wiretapping

wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
edited May 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
The Department of Justice released nine legal opinions from the Bush administration (written by John Yoo and Jay Bybee) that were used as the legal framework for extraordinary rendition, torture, and warrantless wiretapping without consulting the FISA court. I haven't dug through them myself, but I understand some really convoluted and wrong reasoning was used to justify a lot of plainly illegal shit. I'd like to discuss that aspect, along with speculation on which, if any, the Obama administration might adopt, how Holder is going to go about cleaning up the mess caused by them, and also the reaction of both sides of the aisle to the release of these documents.

http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/documents/olc-memos.htm

It should be noted that the Freeper crowd apparently considers releasing the memos to be treason. Violating the Constitution and laws in order to torture brown people is okay, but shining a light on this illegal activity is treason, apparently.

wwtMask on
When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
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Posts

  • Bloods EndBloods End Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Constitution doesn't cover brown people, lad.

    Wait a second, I'm brown!

    Dammit!

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • ApogeeApogee Lancks In Every Game Ever TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I... I don't get why this isn't making headlines. If the Government of Canada secretly decided to suspend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, there would be riots. Seriously US, why aren't you flipping the fuck out over this?

    8R7BtLw.png
  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Apogee wrote: »
    I... I don't get why this isn't making headlines. If the Government of Canada secretly decided to suspend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, there would be riots. Seriously US, why aren't you flipping the fuck out over this?

    Because we were watching The Bachelor.

    I mean seriously did you SEE WHAT HAPPENED?

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
  • MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Apogee wrote: »
    I... I don't get why this isn't making headlines. If the Government of Canada secretly decided to suspend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, there would be riots. Seriously US, why aren't you flipping the fuck out over this?
    what's the constiwhatsit huh...?

    i need more doritos

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  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    wiigirl wrote: »
    Seriously...hasn't this always happened. I seem to remember all the Japanese people being rounded up in WWII. Bush just put it on paper.

    To be fair, most of this stuff was undone by court challenges and legislation. One of the major things to take away from the memos, though, is that these were supposed to be very savvy lawyers, but their legal opinions were apparently laughably inadequate. It also says a lot about politicization of the Justice Department and how it lead to abuses, and that the Bush administration was pretty clearly seeking to not follow the law.

    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    On a serious note, it's because 90% of people are more or less okay with violating the rights of a small minority (provided they're not in that minority) if it makes them feel marginally safer. Note, I didn't say makes them marginally safer.

    This is especially true if you don't tell them about it, or if they can just ignore the fact that it's happening.



    Also, anybody who would use the word "treason" to describe this just needs to kill themselves. I actually mean this. Saying it was a poor decision is fine, but there's a certain level of stupid where you should just check out of the humanity hotel.

  • Gnome-InterruptusGnome-Interruptus Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    On a serious note, it's because 90% of people are more or less okay with violating the rights of a small minority (provided they're not in that minority) if it makes them feel marginally safer. Note, I didn't say makes them marginally safer.

    I'm not too sure about that bolded claim. In fact, I tried finding some public opinion polling data, and the closest I could find suggested the number was closer to 60% are okay with it, and that was when faced with a loaded question.

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  • DetharinDetharin Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Perhaps they just need to ask more realistic questions such as "If you found out the rights of a group of people you do not belong to were being violated, would you be willing to miss an episode of Lost that you could Tivo and watch later in order to do something about that?"

    Such questions would likely result in a 90%+ figure of people who do not care.

    If I was kidnapped, woke up in a lab, told they were going to replace my vocal cords with those of Tony Jay, and lock me in a sound booth until the day I die I would look those bastards right in the eye and say "Alright you sons of bitches lets do this. This one is for the children."
  • DuffelDuffel Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I'm not too sure about that bolded claim. In fact, I tried finding some public opinion polling data, and the closest I could find suggested the number was closer to 60% are okay with it, and that was when faced with a loaded question.
    It's not the sort of thing most people would just admit to, especially to a stranger over the phone.

  • Gnome-InterruptusGnome-Interruptus Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Duffel wrote: »
    I'm not too sure about that bolded claim. In fact, I tried finding some public opinion polling data, and the closest I could find suggested the number was closer to 60% are okay with it, and that was when faced with a loaded question.
    It's not the sort of thing most people would just admit to, especially to a stranger over the phone.

    Its all in how its asked, "Is it okay for detainees to be held without trial" / "Should the US close down Guantanimo" / etc..

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  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Duffel wrote: »
    I'm not too sure about that bolded claim. In fact, I tried finding some public opinion polling data, and the closest I could find suggested the number was closer to 60% are okay with it, and that was when faced with a loaded question.
    It's not the sort of thing most people would just admit to, especially to a stranger over the phone.
    Being a serial killer is not the sort of thing most people would just admit to, but that doesn't mean we should assume most people are serial killers.

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  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    It's probably a lot more complicated than that.

    If I were to witness an unprovoked act of cruelty against a minority on the street, you better fucking believe I would care. I would likely do what I could reasonably do to try to stop it.

    But that's not the same as a piece of legislation that violates Constitutional rights from a distance; particularly in an manner as obfuscated as rendition. I don't see or hear about it happening, I just loosely know that it could legally happen. My faith is not questioned in a way that prompts me to immediate anger-based action. It does, however, make me vote a certain way in the next election.

    Is that enough? Well, I don't know. It certainly seemed to help get Obama elected, given how much a re-establishment of the credibility of law was part of his rhetoric.

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Apogee wrote: »
    I... I don't get why this isn't making headlines. If the Government of Canada secretly decided to suspend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, there would be riots. Seriously US, why aren't you flipping the fuck out over this?

    Because the only people who were pointing it out at the time were "shrill" or "ultra-liberal" people like Marcy Wheeler, Glenn Greenwald, and Keith Olbermann. The traditional media didn't give a shit. And now it's "in the past" and the same traditional media members' stock portfolios are plunging so we have more important things to worry about.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Heartlash wrote: »
    It's probably a lot more complicated than that.

    If I were to witness an unprovoked act of cruelty against a minority on the street, you better fucking believe I would care. I would likely do what I could reasonably do to try to stop it.

    But that's not the same as a piece of legislation that violates Constitutional rights from a distance; particularly in an manner as obfuscated as rendition. I don't see or hear about it happening, I just loosely know that it could legally happen. My faith is not questioned in a way that prompts me to immediate anger-based action. It does, however, make me vote a certain way in the next election.

    Is that enough? Well, I don't know. It certainly seemed to help get Obama elected, given how much a re-establishment of the credibility of law was part of his rhetoric.

    Also you know, the laws were secret. And they're fucking terrifying. Especially the one about US troops on US soil against US citizens memo. That one is absolutely insane.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • RaynagaRaynaga Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    wiigirl wrote: »
    Seriously...hasn't this always happened. I seem to remember all the Japanese people being rounded up in WWII. Bush just put it on paper.

    "Psh, we've done horrendous things in the past. Might as well repeat!"

    Ugh. This is a pretty good example to the Canadian asking why people weren't flipping out; its because we're a nation of morons.

  • Gnome-InterruptusGnome-Interruptus Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    What exactly are people supposed to do? Organize massive rallys and demonstrations? I think most everyone is worn out by how ineffective political protest has become. You never see laws changed or removed because you pressured a politician, because the only thing they care about is winning elections, and the money / fund raising that lets them do that.

    So that leaves the only real option is to vote the people you disagree with out of power, which requires someone to step up and run for office, which is no easy feat. It requires alot of funding and organization, and none of it will be effective until the next election, long after the outrage has left most peoples short term memory.

    Judging by the current positions of the Republicans in the House and the Senate, where there is almost a filibuster proof majority of Democrats, I think the system is working fairly well.

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  • NailbunnyPDNailbunnyPD Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    WhatWhatWhat?!

    I am impressed, both by the Obama admin releasing the info and by the Bush admin's incredible arrogance. I really hope those in the Bush admin suffer the consequences of their unethical acts.

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  • Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    wwtMask wrote: »
    The Department of Justice released nine legal opinions from the Bush administration (written by John Yoo and Jay Bybee) that were used as the legal framework for extraordinary rendition, torture, and warrantless wiretapping without consulting the FISA court. I haven't dug through them myself, but I understand some really convoluted and wrong reasoning was used to justify a lot of plainly illegal shit. I'd like to discuss that aspect, along with speculation on which, if any, the Obama administration might adopt, how Holder is going to go about cleaning up the mess caused by them, and also the reaction of both sides of the aisle to the release of these documents.

    http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/documents/olc-memos.htm

    It should be noted that the Freeper crowd apparently considers releasing the memos to be treason. Violating the Constitution and laws in order to torture brown people is okay, but shining a light on this illegal activity is treason, apparently.

    I read about this last night in an AP or BBC article (can't remember which), so at least someone is reporting it.

    What's a Freeper?

  • NailbunnyPDNailbunnyPD Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Marty81 wrote: »
    What's a Freeper?

    http://www.freep.com/ :?:

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    FreeRepublic.com is a crazy place. Freepers are the people who are regulars.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Marty81 wrote: »
    What's a Freeper?

    http://www.freep.com/ :?:

    www.freerepublic.com

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    What exactly are people supposed to do? Organize massive rallys and demonstrations? I think most everyone is worn out by how ineffective political protest has become.
    Yeah turns out protesting is stupid and actually participating in the process is effective. Who knew that so many Phish fans and Naderites could be wrong?
    Marty81 wrote: »

    What's a Freeper?

    Denizen of FreeRepublic.com. You don't want to know

    11793-1.png
    Spoiler:
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Marty81 wrote: »
    What's a Freeper?

    Commenter on Free Republic, the right wing equivalent of Democratic Underground. They're pretty much scum.

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  • DacDac Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Apogee wrote: »
    I... I don't get why this isn't making headlines. If the Government of Canada secretly decided to suspend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, there would be riots. Seriously US, why aren't you flipping the fuck out over this?

    We're too used to this shit by this point.

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    complacency sucks.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    complacency sucks.
    It's not so bad once you get used to it.

    "Despite all the bitching, if Diablo 3 sucks, I will eat my own cock. Counter-claim: If Diablo 3 does not suck, I will have a list of whiners who need to eat cocks." - Zen Vulgarity
  • DacDac Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Bama wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    complacency sucks.
    It's not so bad once you get used to it.

    :^:

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  • ApogeeApogee Lancks In Every Game Ever TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    You know, just to drive the point home, the Government of Canada did essentially suspend the Charter once by declaring a state of emergency over Quebec getting all uppity. There were riots, and the only reason the government wasn't thrown out is because it was fuckin' Trudeau.

    8R7BtLw.png
  • DelzhandDelzhand motivated battle programmerRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Bama wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    complacency sucks.
    It's not so bad once you get used to it.

    New sig candidate.

    jk0Btsj.png
  • MackenzierMackenzier Gold Star Police Ninja LurkingRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Apogee wrote: »
    You know, just to drive the point home, the Government of Canada did essentially suspend the Charter once by declaring a state of emergency over Quebec getting all uppity. There were riots, and the only reason the government wasn't thrown out is because it was fuckin' Trudeau.

    Not exactly... you're referring to the October Crisis which took place in the early 70s, when War Measures act was invoked. The Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms didn't exist then, as it wasn't enacted until 1982. The previous federal statute, the Canadian Bill of Rights, was not an actual portion of the constitution, had significant limitations and was relatively simple to circumvent at the provincial level.

    And the rioters in questions were essentially our own home-grown 'terrorists' who had been detonating improvised explosive devices though-out the 60s, then kidnapping a foreign official, amongst other things. (The FLQ, if you're interested; they were sort of a conglom of Marxism and the Black Panther Party, but French. :P)

    /Amateur Canadian Politico-history

    That's not to say it wasn't fucking cocked to haul in hundreds of suspected FLQ members without a duly processed warrant though. The action was supported fairly widely at the time, even in Quebec itself, but it did create an uncomfortable precident. The parallels to the current situation are there I suppose, though a bit loose and of a much smaller scale.

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  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Apogee wrote: »
    I... I don't get why this isn't making headlines. If the Government of Canada secretly decided to suspend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, there would be riots. Seriously US, why aren't you flipping the fuck out over this?

    If it was done the same way it was done in the US I highly doubt there'd be riots. Canada's only saving grace is a generally vocal opposition, and politicians that aren't 100% idiots. Post 9/11 US and Bush basically had a free card to do whatever he wanted, with no oversight. That would have a hard time happening in the US.

    If there was a big attack on Canadian soil though, I'm sure Canadians would sell away their rights in exchange for some supposed security. Citizens of other countries have shown generally willing to in adverse situations.

    ragesig.jpg

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Apogee wrote: »
    I... I don't get why this isn't making headlines. If the Government of Canada secretly decided to suspend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, there would be riots. Seriously US, why aren't you flipping the fuck out over this?

    If it was done the same way it was done in the US I highly doubt there'd be riots. Canada's only saving grace is a generally vocal opposition, and politicians that aren't 100% idiots. Post 9/11 US and Bush basically had a free card to do whatever he wanted, with no oversight. That would have a hard time happening in the US.

    If there was a big attack on Canadian soil though, I'm sure Canadians would sell away their rights in exchange for some supposed security. Citizens of other countries have shown generally willing to in adverse situations.

    Also, at least in my local paper, it is making headlines. Well, at least it's the top story on page 2. The reason it's not front page is likely because other things that aren't in the past are on the front page...besides, do you guys know how much of this shit has been front-page headlines over the last eight years? Do we just not remember the outcry over warrantless wiretapping?

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Well, the good news that these memos may very well cost Yoo his license to practice law - as it should be.

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Well, the good news that these memos may very well cost Yoo his license to practice law - as it should be.

    We can only hope. Any other possible consequences (of the more tangible variety) from this?

  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    No where in the Constitution is there even a suggestion that bringing things like this to light would constitute treason, and the Declaration of Independence basically comes right out and says that people should monitor their government for signs that it needs to be violently overthrown.

    And yes, I realize that arguing the point that freepers are stupid is a bit like getting up on a soapbox and ranting at people that the sky is blue and water is wet.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    jeepguy wrote: »
    No where in the Constitution is there even a suggestion that bringing things like this to light would constitute treason, and the Declaration of Independence basically comes right out and says that people should monitor their government for signs that it needs to be violently overthrown.

    And yes, I realize that arguing the point that freepers are stupid is a bit like getting up on a soapbox and ranting at people that the sky is blue and water is wet.

    I know...on the one hand you feel like Captain Obvious, but on the other seeing such a level of stupidity and not saying anything seems almost irresponsible.

  • useruser Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Well, the good news that these memos may very well cost Yoo his license to practice law - as it should be.

    Would this also lead him to be fired from his position as Professor of Law at my school?

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    user wrote: »
    Well, the good news that these memos may very well cost Yoo his license to practice law - as it should be.

    Would this also lead him to be fired from his position as Professor of Law at my school?

    We can only hope.

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    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • NailbunnyPDNailbunnyPD Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    i was a bit disappoint last night to find that the 24-hour channels were more focused on Limbaugh than these Bush memos.

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    You expected different?

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
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