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My point is that some rules are normally held to be beyond the power of any legislative body to sign away. In those cases where such rules have been violated, it is incumbent upon the first civilised government to seize power in the relevant jurisdiction to prosecute these violations. Indeed that is one of the litmus tests of civilisation.

So it fundamentally does not matter that Congress legalised torture, because Congress never had the authority to legalise torture. And if the US constitution gives Congress the right to legalise torture, then the US constitution is in the wrong - because the people of the US never had the authority to give their elected representatives the authority to legalise torture.

And if you object to citing Nürnberg as a precedent, you can strike that from the list. Still leaves a sufficiently solid precedent to go by. Certainly you would not argue that the crimes committed by Pinochet or various assorted Yugoslav war criminals were orders of magnitude more serious than the crimes here under consideration?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 19th, 2009 at 08:30:24 PM EST
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