Jury to rule on whether the CIA's torture architects will stand trial for killing and maiming

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/08/01/tax-funded-war-crimes.html




I’m sure THIS is the time our social justice system provides justice.


He noted that the contract that psychologists James Mitchell and John Jessen had with the government indemnified them against any judgments.

How is that even possible? The USA signed several treaties prohibiting torture. International treaties are binding for domestic US law (i.e. Supremacy Clause).

Not surprising though - the US has a history of protecting their (war) criminals while pointing fingers at others.

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if you probe the historical record, the usa has adhered to the treaties it’s signed about as well as the john birch society always claimed the ussr had complied with its treaty obligations.


I’m sure there is a perfect good legal explanation here, but how a jury gets to decide whether or not a civil suit gets to proceed to trial is beyond me. Juries for civil cases seem odd enough from my outsider perspective*, but a jury to decide whether a case can proceed? Isn’t that a question of law?

* Not that this perspective is reasonable. All legal systems look bizarre in some respects and I can’t actually defend why you shouldn’t use juries for lawsuits. Juries to determine amounts awarded in lawsuits, however, seems insane.


“Architect” should not be used for things that have nothing to do with building. A generic term is “Designer”. Compounding this is “Architect” is a legally protected title, like “Doctor”. It should not be used carelessly.

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Somebody better tell Dr. John about this!

they can be indemnified against civil claims - but not criminal charges.

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Dr. John in one musician. Dr. John is not a job description.

I don’t see anyone calling themselves a Software Doctor on job hunting sites.

That was my assumption. I suspect that at this point they probably should never leave the US for fear of being arrested and extradited to some non-us court for war crimes.

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As to the “juries in civil cases” point, it’s in our Bill of Rights, “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.” I could be argued either way as to whether it makes sense.

But in this case I think (IANAL) that there are two independent questions - before they can be sued, someone has to determine whether they are able to be sued, since their contract indemnifies them against civil damages. I think it may be the difference between “I sue you and you pay,” “I sue you and the government pays,” and “I sue the government directly.”

Didn’t Mitchell in his book “describe himself as the architect of the enhanced interrogation programme?” Quackenbush asked.
“What does it mean to be an architect?” Paszamant responded.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
“What is truth?” retorted Pilate.

Some things never change.

“Now that Zaha Hadid is dead; I’m making a strong push for ‘architect most flagrantly unconcerned by human suffering’.”

Similarly, Nobody hurts people like hurt people.

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