Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, December 12, 2014

Fat Tony At It Again

America's Judicial Concern Troll has decided to weigh in on the torture scandal, because of course he did.

Scalia - who we have been told for 30 years is a very intelligent man who just holds strong beliefs about original intent - says that there is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits torture.

I'm just a humble history teacher, but let me take a crack at it:

Let's take a looky-loo at the Fifth Amendment:

No person compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

That looks like you can't force someone to say things, like, you know, under torture.

Then of course, there's the troublesome Eighth Amendment:

...nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Maybe Scalia doesn't think being beaten until he loses an eye counts?  Simulated drowning doesn't count?  Reducing a mentally deficient man to a quivering shell of a person via systematic torture isn't cruel?

Or maybe Scalia simply doesn't think that applies to foreign born persons.  OK, there is some logic to that.  Not sure how that gibes with Jose Padilla, but OK.

How about this?

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

And then you have the US signing the Geneva Conventions and UN Convention against Torture, which are treaties that prohibit torture, making them the "supreme Law of the Land" whatever John Yoo may say.

Once again, I feel like we live in different universes.

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