By Patrick

Some more analysis from around the web. Emily Bazelon:

On page 47 of the Yoo memo, if I’m not mistaken, there’s the amazing assertion that the Convention Against Torture doesn’t apply whenever the president says it doesn’t. "Any presidential decision to order interrogations methods that are inconsistent with CAT would amount to a suspension or termination of those treaty provisions." Doesn’t this mean that whether or not a treaty has been ratified, with or without express reservations, Yoo is saying that the president can implicitly and on his own authority withdraw the United States from the treaty simply by not abiding by it? Is there precedent for such a claim? In my quick scan so far of the tortured (sorry) reasoning here, I can’t find anything other than ipso facto, because I say so, the president says so.

Marty Lederman:

When will Congress insist upon hearings at which Geoffrey Miller, Jim Haynes, Donald Rumsfeld, and other DOD officials, explain why they kept the Yoo memo and the Working Group Report secret -- undisclosed even to the Working Group itself -- and why they briefed Miller on Yoo's multiple theories of legal absolution on his way out to Iraq? It's no longer very hard to figure out just why, all of a sudden, as soon as Miller arrived in Iraq, everyone there just suddenly and magically came to think the Geneva Conventions, UCMJ, federal assault and torture statutes, etc., simply no longer applied -- that Iraq was a law-free zone and that the gloves had come off. If you were Miller and you had been briefed on the Yoo theories, wouldn't you feel awfully confident that you could get away with, well, murder and everything short of it, in interrogation operations in Iraq? This memo is the source of the Nile for the abuse that occurred in Iraq in 2003.