Not if Massa says we can't.
John Yoo, the UC Berkeley law professor who advised President George W. Bush on interrogation of terror suspects, can't be sued for allegedly authorizing a prisoner's harsh treatment even if it amounted to torture, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.Look, I'm not here to praise Jose Padilla, or to bury him. For all I know, he's the real Tim Osman. I know absolutely nothing about him except what the government told me.
Since 1982, the Supreme Court has ruled that government officials can't be held legally responsible for violating individual rights unless those rights were clearly established at the time.
"We cannot say that any reasonable official in 2001-03 would have known that the specific interrogation techniques allegedly employed against Padilla, however appalling, necessarily amounted to torture," said Judge Raymond Fisher in the 3-0 ruling.
He said the high court didn't rule until 2004 that inmates held as enemy combatants were entitled to humane treatment, and the scope of their rights is still unclear..
And what the government told me for the first four years of his "detention" turned out to be bullshit, didn't it? If he'd ever in his life even heard the words "dirty bomb," he'd have confessed to turning out a gross of them. As it is they gave Jack Bauer four years alone with the guy, and I can only assume the reason he didn't come back with evidence of bombs was because there was no such evidence.
That was four years in a Navy brig, no due process, no trial, no nothing except
sleep deprivation, stress positions, isolation, and extremes of temperature, light and darkness.Treat me like that for a week, and I'd confess to assassinating Lysander Spooner if I thought it'd get you off my back.
Earth to U.S. Government: When other governments do those things, you've always called it torture. You were right.
And the notion that grown people don't know what torture is when they're in the process of doing it to someone is not consistent with the idea that those same people are uniquely qualified to rule us because they're so much smarter than we are and all.
But thank god John Yoo will be all right. I was really worried about that.