Comment on yesterday's post:
oh, i get it
"Concluding that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to particular detainees does not mean that torture is either condoned or authorized."
except, this is simply against a lawyer's ethics to suggest a way around established law. does the law mean nothing? is it merely something we must get around in order to get more power?
I am going to need help decoding this particular comment. To say (correctly, in my view) that the Geneva Conventions do not apply is to say that the law means nothing? And the fact that the legal analysis did not authorize torture is meaningless when discussing so-called "Torture Memos"?
Delahunty and others are accused of facilitating torture because they said that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to Al-Qaida detainees. The thinking was as follows:
If Geneva applies, torture is prohibited
Assume Geneva does not apply
Therefore, torture is not prohibited
or a more simple example
If A, then not B
Assume not A
This is a logical fallacy of denying the antecedent. There are other things that could make B not true. Similarly, there are other things that make torture against the law.
The discussion should be about the applicability of the laws in question, not on torture. Reasonable minds can disagree on this point. We should encourage people with different perspectives to speak their minds. And we should encourage lawyers to provide interpretations of the law that are consistent with the text of the law. I have yet to see a point-by-point refutation of Delahunty's memo.