The New York Times has obtained a memo from Romney’s policy advisers from September 2011. That memo details the advisers’ trust in Romney’s belief in torture techniques, as well as reaffirming how awesome torture is and how it needs to be brought back right away.
Here are a few of the more wonderful bits from the Romney’s campaign memorandum:
Beginning in approximately March 2002, the Bush Administration established a program, operated by the Central Intelligence Agency, to interrogate outside the United States a small number of detained terrorist leaders and operatives. The program was limited to members or supporters of a! Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated terrorist organizations who were likely to possess information that could prevent terrorist attacks against the United States or that could help locate the senior leadership of al Qaeda. Of the thousands of unlawful combatants captured by the United States, fewer than 100 were detained and questioned in the CIA program. And of this number, fewer than a third were the subject of enhanced interrogation techniques.
For clarification, we know those “enhanced interrogation methods” as “torture,” which has a more than a couple countries wondering aloud if Bush’s administration should be tried on war crimes. In Malaysia, they already have been tried, and found guilty.
The memo then goes into several paragraphs detailing the legal framework Bush’s administration, with all the back flips they went through to establish the legality of the torture techniques Bush eventually approved; waterboarding, dietary manipulation, extended sleep deprivation, insults and facial slaps, etc.
Obama issued an executive order expressly forbidding torture soon after he was elected, on January 22, 2009.
Here’s another lovely quote:
Governor Romney has consistently supported enhanced interrogation techniques. Governor Romney is also on record as stating that he does not believe it is wise for him, as a presidential candidate, to describe precisely which techniques he would use in interrogating detainees. The combination of these two positions, as well as the information presented above, leads to two principal options in this area for his campaign.
The first option is that Governor Romney could pledge that upon taking office, he will rescind and replace President Obama’ s Executive Order restricting government interrogators to the Army Field Manual. Consistent with the authority reserved for the President under the Military Commissions Act, he could commit his Administration to authorizing (classified) enhanced interrogation techniques against high-value detainees that are safe, legal, and effective in generating intelligence to save American lives. But because President Obama’s release of the OLC memos has reduced the number of available techniques that meet these criteria, Governor Romney should not commit in advance to a timetable for implementing this plan; it may well take time to identify potential techniques and analyze their effectiveness and legality.
The New York Times reports:
The campaign policy paper does not specify which techniques Mr. Romney should approve, saying more study was needed because Mr. Obama had “permanently damaged” the value of some by releasing memorandums detailing Bush-era techniques in April 2009.
When disclosed, the Bush policies ignited a heated debate that continues to flare. The policy’s supporters say they were lawful and extracted valuable information that helped save lives. Critics contend that they were illegal and damaged the United States’ moral standing, and that the same or better information could have been obtained with nonabusive tactics.
The Romney campaign document, obtained by The New York Times, is a five-page policy paper titled “Interrogation Techniques.” It was a near-final draft circulated last September among the Romney campaign’s “national security law subcommittee” for any further comments before it was to be submitted to Mr. Romney. The panel consists of a brain trust of conservative lawyers, most of whom are veterans of the George W. Bush administration.
Mr. Romney also declared that he would “not authorize torture.” At the news conference afterward, a reporter pressed him to say whether he thought waterboarding was torture, and Mr. Romney replied, “I don’t.”
I think that any member of the government seeking to make legal an abominable practice and ignorantly claim it’s “not torture” should undergo a few hours of the treatment themselves before they be allowed to prescribe it. Obama has denounced torture, and the United States’ part in it, and received approval from around the world. This memo is seeking to bring back a shameful practice that dishonored our country as a whole. We will not stand for it.