Robert sends us this link to a lengthy Vanity Fair piece by Philippe Sands, discussing the genesis, thesis and synthesis of various American torture policies in the aftermath of 9-11, including the role played by GTMO JAG officer Lt. Col. Diane Beaver, to wit, "brainstorming" to come up with clever torture ideas derived from the Fox sitcom 24. (It's on the tube, right? So it must be real. Beaver also wrote a troublesome memo later lambasted by Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora, as noted by Jane Mayer here.) Of course, in the current Administration, whether it be the-out-of-the-loop-commanding-general at Abu Ghraib, or a-hung-out-to-dry-JAG-officer at Guantanamo Bay Naval Air Station, Cuba, somehow a high-ranking woman in the military seems to invariably get blamed for the failings resulting from the outrageous policy of this Administration. Go figure.
Sands' piece is far-reaching, touching on the "trickle-down" approach to torturing a detainee named al-Qahtani (belying the premise that the military officers on the ground somehow suggested this), to Douglas Feith's parsing America's compliance with the Geneva Conventions out of existence, to the famous and less famous roles played by torturers-of-the-law to enable torture in the field, such as John Yoo, Robert Delahuhty, (good old Cheney's-man)David Addington, Rumsfeld himself, his general counsel William "Jim" Haynes, Fredo Gonzales, Jay "I have Lifetime Tenure Now, so Nya!" Bybee, and others, with various degress of moral (and in an even remotely just world, legal) culpability.
Sands' article culminates in a discussion of "the Justice Trial" at Nuremberg with the son of the lead defendant, a conversation that took place at Nuremberg (where Lt. Col. Beaver visited earlier in her career.)
All of this is a little too close, methinks, particulary when one thinks of, oh, the recent decision in the case of al-Ghizzawi, Candace's client at GTMO (the one in which I invariably take more than a rooting interest in.)
Well, this is where we find ourselves, as of 21 April, 2008. Someday, and I suppose I hope to live long enough to see that day, we will look back at these times, and be very ashamed of what has been done in the name of our security. VERY ashamed.