"'I've read some of your writings while you've been out of government'. 'Don't ever use the words CIA and torture in the same paragraph again.... Torture is a felony, Leon. Say you don't like it. Say it offends you. I don't care. But just don't say it's torture. It's a felony.' The Justice Department had approved what the CIA did in long, detailed memos, so legally the CIA had not tortured anyone," - outgoing CIA head, Michael Hayden to his successor, Leon Panetta, according to Bob Woodward.
Legally, in utter bad faith or massive incompetence or worse-than-shoddy scholarship, they created a golden shield for the top brass, while scapegoating a few at the bottom obeying orders. But in truth, where the law means what it clearly says, legally, empirically, morally, constitutionally - Hayden, Bush, Cheney, Addington, Yoo, Bybee, Rumsfeld et al are all war criminals. Not rhetorically.
As a matter of fact. When will they be arrested and put on trial?
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