4,745. 3/14/2003

On March 14, 2003, Deputy Chief of the Office of Legal Counsel John Yoo sent a memo to General Counsel William Haynes titled, ‘Military Interrogations of Alien Unlawful Combatants Held Outside of the United States.’ It “states that the Fifth and Eighth Amendments do not hold for alien enemy combatants held outside of the U.S.; that federal criminal laws do not apply for properly-authorized military interrogations of enemy combatants; that U.S. obligations under the CAT [United Nations Convention Against Torture] extend only to conduct that is ‘cruel and unusual’ under the Eighth Amendment or which ‘shocks the conscience’ under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments; that customary international law does impose obligations beyond the CAT and may be overridden by the President; and, finally, advises claims of ‘necessity or self-defense’ as responses to possible criminal prosecution for interrogation techniques.”

 – M. Cherif Bassiouni, The Institutionalization of Torture by the Bush Administration, Page xlii

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