JAG Hunter here: Columnist Ignatious' article subtly states four elements crucial to the defense of soldiers now facing courts-martial (or already convicted): 1) Interrogation techniques being used are approved at the highest levels of our government. The pictures we've seen, the narrations we've heard and read about were not the isolated random acts of "six morons" at Abu Ghraib. 2) Military commanders issued orders (in what form isn't yet clear) to carry out this aggressive and extreme intelligence gathering program firmly believing the orders were legal, approved by the highest levels of U.S. government. 3) Even if alleged by any outside interest or agency, military commanders, with top-ranking civilians, would be protected. And lastly, 4) It was foreseen and foreseeable that junior troops would provide at least a partial shield from accountability climbing the chain-of-command. Take careful note the defense suggested to protect senior government officials from prosecution isn't offered by defense JAGs to their very junior clients currently facing courts-martial (or already convicted).
Torture memo very clear
The Cincinnati Post
The third defense was that even if interrogators should someday be charged with torture, they could cite special mitigating circumstances, such as "necessity" or "self-defense." These factors "would potentially alleviate criminal liability," even if an interrogation method "might arguably cross the line drawn in Section 2340." In other words, even if you do something illegal, we can get you off."
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