Carl Schmitt Said It Was Okay
Dec. 14 (LPAC)–In an interview on Sunday with Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday, Jose Rodriguez, the former CIA Chief of Clandestine Operations, under whom the entire torture program was run and the person who made the decision to destroy the videotapes of the torture sessions, like Dick Cheney, Michael Hayden, and Karl Rove, among other Bush Leaguers, defended his actions, arguing that the program was approved in the form of a binding legal opinion “by the lawyers.” This argument is the moral equivalent of someone arguing at the Nuremberg Tribunal, that his crimes against humanity were justified by the fact that the Nazi crown jurist, Carl Schmitt, gave his approval.
Rodriguez responded to Wallace’s question, “Do you have any second thoughts?” by answering: “Absolutely not, Chris. Not one bit. All of these techniques were approved by the lawyers and were looked at by the I.G. and everybody else. So, yes, I’m OK with all of these procedures. The first is a piece of paper, a binding legal opinion in writing that we received from Justice Department, the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department, that said that waterboarding and 10 other techniques were legal.”
However, as Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) responded to the question of whether waterboarding is torture:
“We decided waterboarding was torture back when we court-martialed American soldiers for waterboarding Philippine insurgents in the Philippine revolution. We decided waterboarding was torture when we prosecuted Japanese soldiers as war criminals for waterboarding Americans during World War II, and we decided waterboarding was torture when the American court system described waterboarding as torture when Ronald Reagan and his Department of Justice prosecuted a Texas sheriff and several of his associates for waterboarding detainees.”