CBS Legal Analyst Sees Masterful Writing in ‘Wonderland’ Torture Memo
Posted Apr 3, 2008 9:59 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
CBS legal analyst Andrew Cohen has one good thing—and only one good thing—to say about John Yoo’s so-called "torture" memo: At least the Justice Department attorney was persuasive.
The recently declassified memo authorized harsh interrogation techniques by military investigators questioning al-Qaida suspects, leading critics to contend the 2003 document created a culture of abuse.
In his CourtWatch column, Cohen calls the memo a “legal Wonderland” that disassembled the definition of torture and reassembled it so that “the laws against torture didn’t outlaw torture.”
“One of the arts of fine lawyering is the art of making the ugly beautiful, the lame fleet, and the guilty determined innocent,” Cohen writes. “By this measure, and perhaps this measure alone, John Yoo, the now-disgraced former architect of the Bush administration’s terror law policies, is a masterful attorney.”
A hat tip to How Appealing, which posted Cohen’s column.