* Bush officials ordered torture.
* Torture is a crime.
Unless you're David Broder, Fred Hiatt, Peggy Noonan or Tom Friedman, those premises of Obama's, as a matter of logical reasoning, all necessarily lead to one conclusion (hint: it's not: "This is a time for reflection, not retribution"). Greg Sargent has similar thoughts about the significance of this answer. Read more.
Published on Thursday, April 30, 2009
An Anti-Torture Memorandum for President Obama
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Torture: An Accumulated Evil
Torture is one of those accumulated evils. Violating domestic laws like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 is another. You were right to unceremoniously jettison former CIA director Michael Hayden, who betrayed the thousands of NSA professionals who, until he directed that domestic law could be ignored, had adhered scrupulously to the 1978 FISA law as NSA's "First Commandment"-Thou Shalt Not Eavesdrop on Americans Without a Court Warrant.
In contrast, we believe you were badly misguided in giving a prominent White House post to former CIA director George Tenet's protégé John Brennan, who has publicly defended "extraordinary rendition" in full knowledge that its purpose was torture. Brennan also had complicit knowledge of the lengths to which Tenet conspired with the Department of Justice to distort history and the law in drafting opinions that attempted to "justify" torture.