Go to this blog for a summary and an audio link to a debate between John Yoo, the legal brain behind the Bush administration’s abandonment of the ban on cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of military detainees, and Philippe Sands, Professor of Law, at the University College London. Yoo’s new book is worth reading too, to understand his side of the debate. (This review is also worth reading.) Two more notes: something struck me as rvealing in yesterday’s USA Today. The editorial page argued in favor of the McCain Amendment, and, usually, they get a counter-point from the relevant party, including politicians. But this time: “The Bush administration declined to provide an opposing view.” Yoo, a former Bush official, filled in. He’s almost the only person willing to defend the policies at this point (apart from the WSJ editorial page.) The second point is that all signs are that the McCain Amendment is indeed dying a slow death in the conference committee. Cheney has his point-men in there; and this administration’s ferocious desire to keep torture and abuse legal seems to know no end. Mike Crowley reports on what I have also been hearing here.


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