Thursday, December 07, 2006

Barbie, Ken, and Anonymous

Too busy to post something new. Here is a fight going on in the comments section for the post below:

Mahan said... It would surprise me greatly if you were to see such a refutation, frankly. The arguments I have so far seen advanced against the memo as a result of this academic protest (if that is the term) appear to be on the same intellectual plane as that left by your anonymous commentator, and wasn't that a wonderful stand for the Geneva Conventions, to not identify yourself?

If that is, in fact, the level to which American legal education is being reduced (to be fair, it isn't just legal scholarship, but this is taking place at the Law School), the American academy is in far worse shape than I've ever imagined it to be, and I'm very glad I'm not involved in it. To paraphrase a classic movie, I could feel my mind going, Peter...
December 06, 2006 8:34 PM

Anonymous said... No.
The administration seems to view the law as an impediment to "making America secure." That view is extremely dangerous, but they've sought out legal justification for it.

So while "saying the Geneva conventions don't apply" doesn't necessary mean the law "means nothing," it is just one example of many showing their disregard for law. These examples are well known and I won't go into them.

Also, it's not the words in the legal analysis (although those have certainly been debated), it's the way in which a lawyer helped his client get around the law. That is simply unethical, regardless of what the memo explicitly said. [Link in original post comment]
December 07, 2006 9:05 AM

Peter said... Re: The comment above.
I should say that "anonymous" should get his own blog. Many bloggers use his tactic (including me, when I'm lazy) of linking to something as a substitute for making an argument.

If we want to have a debate about the Bybee memo, let's do. But that is a separate thread. Delahunty did not author that memo. The fact that John Yoo wrote a cover memo for the Bybee memo, and separately co-authored the Delahunty memo, does not mean that Delahunty is responsible for the former.

Another controversial memo (this time regarding Guantanamo) was written by Lieutenant Colonel Diane Beaver. "The Beave" was my deputy staff judge advocate at Fort Riley, Kansas. She edited most of our memos when we were in administrative law. Mostly stuff like missing binoculars and permissible assistance to the local Boy Scout chapter. Under the Bybee-works-with-Yoo-works-with-Delahunty logic, I would be responsible for LTC Beaver's controversial memo since I co-authored a separate memo with her.

Finally, It DOES matter what the memos actually say. If it didn't, we might as well call them the "Blue Cow" memos or the "Deluxe Barbie and Ken Doll Playset" memos.


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