In the Arena

A Sane Approach on Torture

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The New York Times has two pieces of interest on the Bush Administration’s torture policy today. The first is an authoritative op-ed column by Ali Soufan, who was one of the FBI officials who interrogated Abu Zubaydah and others. Soufan validates the philosophical split between the FBI and the CIA on interrogation procedures that Jane Mayer first reported in The New Yorker and her excellent book, The Dark Side. And he definitely trashes the idea that water-boarding elicited any new information from Zubaydah. But he also believes that the CIA interrogators–who may have been outside contractors–should not be prosecuted.

The second Times piece discusses the difficulty in successfully prosecuting any of the Bush officials involved in this disgraceful business, an opinion that conforms to what I’ve been hearing from other sources. To convict, say, Jay Bybee, you’d have to prove that he knowingly wrote an illegal opinion, which is near-impossible to do. I’d still like to see the sucker impeached and kicked off the 9th District Court, though. Is lack of judicial temperament or arrant inhumanity an actionable offense?