Capital Quote 7/1/08

Detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Three days before the USA’s most patriotic holiday, it is poignant to remember an area where the country is notably failing to live up to its ideals: human rights, most notably the torture of international detainees.

At a House Judiciary Committee Hearing last week John Yoo, former legal assistant to the Attorney General and President and author of several legal memos advocating the legality of torture, failed to state categorically that some forms of torture were out of bounds for the president to order:

Conyers: Could the President order a suspect buried alive?

Yoo: Uh, Mr. Chairman, I don’t think I’ve ever given advice that the President could order someone buried alive. . .

Conyers: I didn’t ask you if you ever gave him advice. I asked you thought the President could order a suspect buried alive.

Yoo: Well Chairman, my view right now is that I don’t think a President . . . no American President would ever have to order that or feel it necessary to order that.

Conyers: I think we understand the games that are being played.

An video clip of the exchange is available after the jump.

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