"Obama Was Right to Release Torture Memos." — Jameel Jaffer

Administration of TortureYesterday, we featured Jameel Jaffer’s interview with Glenn Greenwald on Salon and today we point your attention to Jaffer’s post on the Free Speech Blog.

Jameel Jaffer, who is the co-editor with Amrit Singh of Administration of Torture: A Documentary Record from Washington to Abu Ghraib and Beyond, argues that with the release of the memos “the public can now better understand the nature of the CIA’s interrogation and detention programme, and the role that Justice Department lawyers played in developing and implementing it.”

Jaffer disputes the points made by Michael Mukaskey, former attorney general under George W. Bush, and former CIA director Michael Hayden in their Wall Street Journal op-ed. Mukasksy and Hayden argued that the release of the memos would make CIA interrogators timid and ultimately jeopardize the safety of the United States. However, Jaffer suggests:

It does not compromise national security to broadcast to the world that the US will eschew methods that are criminal under US and international law, that the State Department has described as torture, and that the United States has previously prosecuted as war crimes. Indeed, to propose that the nation’s security would be compromised by that message is to propose that the nation’s security would be compromised by the rule of law.

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