Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: The Case on Torture

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Case on Torture

This week's New Yorker has an interesting piece on Philippe Sands, the English law professor and barrister whose book Torture Team may have played a large part in getting the ball rolling in Spain on potential criminal charges against Alberto Gonzales, Douglas Feith, John Yoo, and others in the Bush administration for torture. Sands delved into the problem of torture during the Iraq War after seeing the Abu Ghraib pictures.

Sands said that he read the protestations of innocence from Bush Administration officials, who blamed a few "bad apples" for the incidents, with the eye of a barrister. He recalled, "I could spot right away that they were speaking as advocates of a cause. So I decided to find out what really happened."

He was able to get access to a number of people involved, actually conducting interviews with Feith and others. The more he explored, the more unhappy he became.

"I spent two years trekking around the country, finding out that they were manifestly untruthful," Sands said. "I've got a particular bugbear about lawyers," he added. "If not for lawyers, none of these abuses would have ever occurred."

One of the Spanish lawyers trying to bring the charges has given Sands credit for identifying "who the targets were." It's far too soon to know what will become of these efforts, but for the time being, those particular ex-Bushies should probably keep all their traveling domestic.


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