No comfort in obeying bad law
“I can think of nothing that can more devastatingly undercut America's standing in the world or, more important, our view or ourselves....
Donald Gregg, national security adviser to President George H.W Bush, on legal decisions that torture, can be justified
Seattle P-I, June 14, 2004

  Looking angry and clearly frustrated, President Bush leaned across the lecturn at a news conference Thursday in response to a question of whether torture is ever justified. "Look, I'm going to say it one more time," the president snapped, "The instructions went out to our people to adhere to the law. That ought to comfort you."
  Bush's remarks were hardly comforting. What comfort is there in assurances that Bush would adhere to the law after Justice Department lawyers wrote the president memos saying the law allowed him to authorize the use of torture?
  Donald Gregg, a former CIA officer and national security adviser to the first President Bush, wrote in The New York Times Thursday, "These memos cleared the way for the horrors that have been revealed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo and make a mockery of administration assertions that a few misguided enlisted personnel perpetrated the vile abuse of prisoners."
  The president's verbal parsing about "the law" is more disingenuous and far more dangerous than his predecessor’s machinations over "sexual relationship" and "what is is," because it implies that for Bush the law is what he says it is.
  One vigorous dissenter to the memos was State Department legal adviser William H. Taft IV, who warned that a decision to employ torture "deprives our troops there of any claim to the protection of the [Geneva] Conventions in the event they are captured."
  If there's any comfort to be found here, it's in the fact that such voices of reasoned dissent exist within the administration.