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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Limited Torture Probe would Undermine U.S. Obligation Under International Law
21 Aug 2009
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Limited Torture Probe would Undermine U.S. Obligation Under International Law

Interview with Scott Horton, a contributing editor at Harper's Magazine and a lecturer at Columbia University Law School, conducted by Scott Harris

Responding to reports that Attorney General Eric Holder is considering opening a limited investigation of Bush administration torture policy, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. warned President Obama not to pressure Eric Holder against appointing a special prosecutor. The president has repeatedly said he wants to look forward and not backward with regard to Bush administration violations of U.S. and international law.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Holder may soon initiate a criminal probe, but would limit its scope to CIA interrogators who went beyond guidelines established by Justice Department attorneys John Yoo and Jay Bybee in 2002 memos authorizing waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods.

Human rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union have criticized the initiation of a limited investigation, declaring that the prohibition against torture under U.S. and international law is absolute, with no one who authorized torture being above the law. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Scott Horton, a contributing editor at Harper's Magazine and an attorney specializing in human rights and the law of armed conflict. Horton discusses the reasons why a special prosecutor may have no choice but to expand an investigation to hold accountable Bush administration officials who authorized torture.

Scott Horton is a lecturer at Columbia University Law School. Read Horton's "No Comment" blog online at

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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
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Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2009 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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