Friday, August 8, 2008

AG APPOINTS TORTURE ADVOCATE AS TOP AIDE

Think Progress - Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed Brian Benczkowski to serve as his Chief of Staff. Benczkowski is one of the Justice Department's torture apologists. As deputy assistant attorney general, he wrote a letter declaring that if torture "is undertaken to prevent a threatened attack, rather than for the purpose of humiliation or abuse," it doesn't violate the Geneva Conventions' ban on "outrages upon personal dignity," and is thus presumed to be legal. He wrote that for a torture act to violate the Geneva ban, conduct "must be so deplorable that the reasonable observer would recognize it as something that should be universally condemned." Announcing Benczkowski's appointment yesterday, Mukasey declared he "has been one of my closest advisers in the Department," and praised his "exceptional judgement."

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