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Two Spanish investigating judges are pressing forward with their probe into the role that six Bush Administration lawyers, headed by former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, played in the torture and mistreatment of Spanish subjects held at Guantánamo. They have now asked Attorney General Eric Holder about the U.S. Justice Department’s role in the affair. I report the details in a feature just up at the Huffington Post.
The judges have asked for responses by the end of October, setting up another major test for Attorney General Eric Holder. This time, the question is whether Holder will choose to oblige or stymie international criminal investigations of Bush officials for torture, in the absence of any domestic efforts in that direction. Holder has thus far threaded the needle between torture critics and torture apologists by launching a narrowly tailored preliminary inquiry into a small group of incidents that exceeded Justice Department guidances in place at the time. Had he launched a more wide-ranging investigation, the Spaniards would almost certainly have abandoned theirs, which is based on the principle of universal jurisdiction when it comes to such things as war crimes.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”