Scott Horton

Torture is a Crime


The Other Scott Horton, international human rights lawyer, contributing writer for Harper’s magazine and author of their blog No Comment, discusses the release of the full text of the infamous Yoo-Bybee torture memo, the bogus defensive arguments invoking unlimited power contained therein, how the law is supposed to work instead, the Pinochet precedent for prosecution of the highest level officials in this case, the sad story of Dilawar the Afghan cab driver, the scapegoating of the lowest level torturers and the positions of McCain and Clinton on the issue.

MP3 here. (41:54)

The Other Scott Horton is a contributing editor at Harper’s magazine and pens the blog No Comment. A New York attorney known for his work in emerging markets and international law, especially human rights law and the law of armed conflict, Horton lectures at Columbia Law School. A life-long human rights advocate, Scott served as counsel to Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonner, among other activists in the former Soviet Union. He is a co-founder of the American University in Central Asia, and has been involved in some of the most significant foreign investment projects in the Central Eurasian region. Scott recently led a number of studies of abuse issues associated with the conduct of the war on terror for the New York City Bar Association, where he has chaired several committees, including, most recently, the Committee on International Law. He is also a member of the board of the National Institute of Military Justice, the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, the EurasiaGroup and the American Branch of the International Law Association.

8 thoughts on “Scott Horton”

  1. Some of the leading advocates of (post 9/11) torture were officials named by CIA IG Helgerson in his internal review of pre-9/11 conduct. Helgerson recommended the convening of disciplinary panels but Goss refused to do so. Goss also refused to declassify the report. The executive summary of the report was finally declassified due to an amendment in the Improving Americas Security Act of 2007.

    Hayden’s comment on the executive summary declassification:

    While meeting the dictates of the law, I want to make it clear that this declassification was neither my choice nor my preference. Two Directors of National Intelligence have supported the agency’s position against release.

    The long, grueling fight against terrorism, which depends in very real part on the quality of our intelligence, demands that we keep our focus on the present and the future. We must draw lessons from our past—and we have—without becoming captive to it. I thought the release of this report would distract officers serving their country on the frontlines of a global conflict. It will, at a minimum, consume time and attention revisiting ground that is already well plowed. I also remain deeply concerned about the chilling effect that may follow publication of the previously classified work, findings, and recommendations of the Office of Inspector General. The important work of that unit depends on candor and confidentiality. Link

    Hayden later ordered an internal review of Helgerson’s office. No chilling effect there I’m sure.

    It is strange that officials who didn’t do their jobs (no idea why as the 9/11 Commission didn’t want to ‘play the blame game’) in the lead up to 9/11 seem to expect unconditional trust from the public in regards to the necessity of employing torture.

  2. the assholes in the pentagon do not realize that a disarming first strike capability is meaningless because of the nuclear winter scenario this is what we spend a trillion dollars a year on

  3. Only a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw great design and style. “Better by far you should forget and smile than that you should remember and be sad.” by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

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