This Week's Links: Torture Memos, Prosecution, and Impeachment

20 April 2009

Apologies for the long absence. Things have been pretty busy over here. In the meantime, there is plenty for you to read:

  • The International Red Cross Report on detainee abuse has been made public. It includes, among other things, "Beatings by use of a collar held around a detainees neck and used to forcefully bang the head and body against the wall." [ICRC Report]
  • The ACLU lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act has finally resulted in the release of the OLC memos authorizing torture techniques and abuse against detainees. [OLC Memos]
  • It appears, however, that Obama does not want to prosecute the OLC memo's authors, either. [AP]
  • The Spanish, however, are still seeking prosecution. [The Public Record]
  • Prof. Manfred Nowak, U.N. Rapporteur for Torture, says that refusal to prosecute is a violation of the Convention Against Torture (which compels investigation and prosecution of those accused ot torture). [Der Standard]
  • UPDATE: Now it's not even clear whether or not Obama wants to prosecute those who created the torture policies, walking back Rahm Emanuel's comments from the other day ("[A]dministration officials said Monday that Mr. Emanuel had meant the officials who ordered the policies carried out, not the lawyers who provided the legal rationale."). [The New York Times]
  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said that it's "certainly possible that an impeachment inquiry is warranted" into torture memo author Bybee (currently a federal judge in the Ninth Circuit). I doubt that Whitehouse will step up to the plate, though. [Rachel Madow]
  • Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) says that "grounds for impeachment can be made" against Bybee based on the OLC memos. [Russ Feingold]
  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) says that "I would support impeachment hearings for Judge Bybee." [Center For American Progress]