Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Altstötter war crimes case

The Nuremberg War Crimes Trials case that involved lawyers facilitating crimes that's a major precedent for trying the attorneys like Bybee and Yoo involved in the Cheney torture policy is known as the Josef Altstötter and Others case, Altstötter being the alphabetically the first in the list of defendants.

His photo bears a distinct resemblance to a recent US Secretary of Defense:


The favored attitude among the pro-torture Pod Pundits (though the consensus seems to be fraying) is to pretend that they never heard of the idea that lawyers writing legal opinions with the goal of facilitating the commission of a crime. George Will took that position with his usual unctuous self-righteousness on ABC's This Week of 04/26/09. Given Will's apparent difficulty checking his facts on global warming, he really might not have heard of such a thing.

For anyone who does want to know more on the subject Phillipe Sands gives a great deal of attention to the Altstötter case in Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values (2008).

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