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Friday, July 25, 2008

Latest Torture Memo Released Under FOIA

In the Washington Post and a host of other papers came stories today of a 2002 memo, or bits and pieces of it anyway...

The American Civil Liberties Union yesterday released three heavily blacked-out documents it received as a result of its ongoing, four-year-old Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. One document is a previously undisclosed August 2002 memo to the CIA from the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel, which essentially offers a guide to how to torture and get away with it.

Here's an excerpt:

"To violate the statute, an individual must have the specific intent to inflict severe pain or suffering. Because specific intent is an element of the offense, the absence of specific intent negates the charge of torture. As we previously opined, to have the required specific intent, an individual must expressly intend to cause such severe pain or suffering. . . . We have further found that if a defendant acts with the good faith belief that his actions will not cause such suffering, he has not acted with specific intent. . . . A defendant acts in good faith when he has an honest belief that his actions will not result in severe pain and suffering. . . . Although an honest belief need not be reasonable, such a belief is easier to establish where there is a reasonable basis for it.

"Based on the information you have provided us, we believe that those carrying out these procedures would not have the specific intent to inflict severe physical pain or suffering. . . .

More here.

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