Comments on: The Terror Presidency: Hard questions for all of us Blog, news, books Thu, 12 Oct 2017 08:56:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: John A Arkansawyer Wed, 14 Nov 2007 10:29:12 +0000 I picked the book up today when I took my daughter to storytime at the library, and just finished it–a quick read, and an interesting one. (The visit to the hospital isn’t in it, I think–did you happen to get an advance copy?) It’s a slender book, a nice fusion of history and first-person narrative.I’m appreciative that he actually makes explicit arguments which can be considered and (in this case, by me) rejected.

It felt odd to scan the bibliography and not see Chadwin’s The Warhawks. I read that maybe ten years ago, and I’ve been using is as one of my reference points on Roosevelt and the entry into WWII ever since. Now I’m wondering whether there’s some reason that book doesn’t get cited. I’d hate to someday be compared to David Addington, whose “command of these issues…was often idiosyncratic.”

Not specifying the actual techniques for which he found justification is the greatest flaw in the book. He gives could defenses for all the things he does which he displays in full, but here, he’s silent. That’s not right.

By: HH Tue, 13 Nov 2007 06:51:31 +0000 Unfortunately, Goldsmith’s successor, Daniel Levin, was strong-armed into inventing a pernicious “prolonged harm” test for torture that is now in the MCA statute. This monstrous creation is what allowed Mukasey to say “If waterboarding is torture…” Levin’s test requires that a torture victim show proof of (undefined) prolonged harm in order for abuse to be declared torture. Poor Levin was eventually kicked out of the DOJ by Gonzales because even this wretched opinion was not servile enough to Bush’s demand to torture.

A thorough demolition of Levin’s argument can be read here:

Prolonged Mental Harm: The Torturous
Reasoning Behind a New Standard for
Psychological Abuse