When we talk today of the “torture memos,” most of us think about the later memoranda, like the infamous “Bybee Memo” of August 1, Another Tortured Memo from Jay Bybee. Nine years after he left his post as Director of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in the George W. Bush. The Bybee Memo Memorandum for Alberto R. Gonzales We conclude that for an act to constitute torture as defined in Section , it must inflict pain that is .

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The Reagan understanding also made express what is obvious from the plain text of CAT: Although the ratification record, i. He had serious medical conditions that were not promptly or adequately treated.

It failed to promote any language regarding torture to be only “extremely cruel” behavior resulting in “excruciating and agonizing” pain, and instead, filed a reservation that quoted the text of the U.

First, self-defense requires that the use of force be necessary to avoid the danger of unlawful bodily harm. The first part says that the advice provided in this memorandum applies only to the facts at hand regarding Abu Zubaydahand that the conclusions of the memorandum may change given different facts.

The statement to the contrary from the August 1,memorandum, quoted above, has been withdrawn and superseded, along with the entirety of the memorandum, and in any event I do not find that statement persuasive. Self-Defense Even if a toture were to find that a violation of Section A was not justified by necessity, a defendant could still appropriately raise a claim of self-defense.

Section does not require this additional intent, but as discussed supra pp. He was carried off by the attackers and “was found dead the next day, naked and lying in the middle of the road [. If, however, the Convention established a general intent standard, then the Bush understanding represents a modification of the obligation undertaken by the United States. The court found that this program caused “if not actual bodily injury, at least intense physical and mental suffering to the person subjected thereto bybef also led to acute psychiatric disturbances daring the interrogation.

He was threatened with death, blindfolded and beaten while handcuffed and fettered.

His captors threatened to cut off his fingers, pull out his fingernails, and shock his testicles. The memo closes this section reminding the reader of the refusal of the U.


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It discusses the language of the torture statute 18 U. Therefore, it states, if the interrogation conduct did not violate the U. Archived from the original on May 2, The handcuffs cut into his flesh.

Declaration on the Protection from Torture. Mehinovic had “anxiety, flashbacks, and nightmares and has difficulty sleeping. Archived copy as title CS1 maint: Commenting on the specificity of the reservation and statute regarding mental pain or suffering, the memo says, “this understanding ensured that mental torture would rise to a severity comparable to that required in the context of physical torture.

Webarchive template wayback links All articles with dead external links Articles with dead external links from January Articles with permanently dead external links CS1 maint: Thus, the pairing of mind-altering substances with procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality and the use of “other” to modify “procedures” shows that the use of such substances must also cause a profound disruption of the senses or personality.

Torture Memos – Wikipedia

Additionally, the threat of inflicting such pain is a predicate act under the statute. The acts of torture that John Yoo and other Bush administration officials so proudly defend are nothing less than war crimes that, in the absence of accountability, continue to undermine the United States’ claim to respect the rule of law.

Interpretation to Avoid Constitutional Problems As the Supreme Court has recognized, and as we will explain further below, the President enjoys complete discretion in the exercise of his Commander-in-Chief authority and in conducting operations against hostile forces.

When it submitted the Convention to the Senate, the Reagan administration took meo position that CAT reached only the most heinous acts.

This subparagraph, however, does not preclude any and all use of drugs. This provision, however, actually captures the infliction of physical pain or suffering when the defendant inflicts physical pain or suffering with general intent rather hybee the specific intent that is required where severe physical pain or suffering alone is the basis for the charge. Nonetheless, we are not without guidance as to how United States courts would approach the question of what conduct constitutes torture. Since the initial revelation of these documents, other communications related to the use of torture to coerce or intimidate detainees during the Bush administration have been divulged.

Torture shall also be understood to be the use of methods upon a person intended to obliterate the personality of the victim or to diminish his physical or mental capacities, even if they do not cause physical pain or mental anguish. Although a defendant theoretically could hold an unreasonable belief that his acts would not constitute the actions prohibited by the statute, even though they would as a certainty produce the prohibited effects, as a matter of practice in the federal criminal gybee system it is highly unlikely that a jury would acquit in such a situation.


Yet, as Senator Biden pointed out, the Pentagon-appointed Schlesinger Committee found that very determination was used by the commander of occupation forces in Iraq, Lt. Gonzales refused to concede that tortyre advice to deny the protections of the Geneva Conventions to Al Qaeda and the Taliban had any influence on detainee treatment in Iraq. House of Representatives House Committee on the Judiciary. If the right to defend the national government can tortre raised as a defense in an individual prosecution, as Neagle suggests, then a government defendant, acting in bbee official capacity, should be able to argue that any conduct that arguably violated Section A was undertaken pursuant to more than just individual self-defense or defense of another.

In an judge en banc hearing, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the panel’s decision and held the two defendants could be civilly tried for a potential award of damages for the arrests, violations of free speech and alleged selective enforcement.

A memo on torture to John Yoo

As for his meals, his captors gave him pita bread and dry cheese for breakfast, rice with dehydrated soup for lunch, and a piece of bread for dinner. On January 13,in a decision, Bybee wrote for the majority in United States v. Continuing to summarize the facts, the memorandum summarizes the characteristics of the professionals present during the proposed interrogation techniques, and summarizes those coercive methods.

Thus, they appear to permit, under international law, an aggressive interpretation as to what amounts to torture, leaving that label to be applied only where extreme circumstances exist. On January 10,in an en banc decision, Judge Bybee wrote the opinion for the majority in the case of Smith v. Retrieved October 24, Jack Goldsmiththen head of the Office of Legal Counselhad already withdrawn the Yoo memos and advised agencies not to rely on them.

The statute requires that the defendant specifically intend to inflict severe mental pain or suffering.