April 07, 2008

Torture memo cited Indian law

Apparently John Yoo's torture memo cited Indian law as a precedent. That's not too surprising since Indians were America's original "enemy combatants." As with today's terrorists, we put them in concentration camps, held them without a trial, etc.

There Were Orders to FollowMr. Yoo, who, inexplicably, teaches law at the University of California, Berkeley, never directly argues that it is legal to chain prisoners to the ceiling for days, sexually abuse them or subject them to waterboarding—all things done by American jailers.

His primary argument, in which he reaches back to 19th-century legal opinions justifying the execution of Indians who rejected the reservation, is that the laws didn’t apply to Mr. Bush because he is commander in chief. He cited an earlier opinion from Bush administration lawyers that Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners were not covered by the Geneva Conventions—a decision that put every captured American soldier at grave risk.
Comment:  Did the aforementioned legal opinions ever become the law? I don't know. I'd like to hear more about them.

Indians have often noted how those who resist American dominance have been labeled terrorists. See Native Intelligence:  The Long View for examples.

For more on our policies toward people who may or may not have committed crimes against America, see Bush Administration Sanctions Torture.

No comments: