obtaining advance information about the identity of al Qaeda operatives and their plans may provide to be the only way to prevent direct attacks on the United States.
Interrogation of capture al Qaeda operatives could provide that information; indeed, in may cases interrogation may be the only method to obtain it.
The torrent of documents leaked in the course of the Abu Ghraib scandal revealed that, in point of fact, government lawyers had been well aware of the intricate legal terrain that the executive detention policy was traversing.
legal memoranda, particularly those that established legal sanction for the Executive’s detention and interrogation policies, relied on a legal opinion that the Constitution gives the 'President alone' power to determine 'any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing, and nature of the response,' in order to deflect treaty language that might have circumscribed executive action.
[I]nternational human rights law ... reflects the universalist tendencies of ancient natural law yet is codified in positive instruments of law. Yet the internal enforceability of those instruments remained subject to the buffer mechanisms that public international law condones. It was on these mechanisms that government lawyers relied in order to insulate the United States from the effect of international obligations assumed when it became a state party to certain treaties. ...
our Office recently concluded that the Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations.
The disclosed memoranda provided rare and troubling evidence of the deliberate construction of a framework that appeared to be ruled by law, but was not. The framework might better be termed 'legalist' rather than 'legal'; within it, the only laws recognized were those allowing free rein for presidential prerogative dressed in the guise of legal constraints. For more than two years, laws that the Executive chose neither to acknowledge nor to accommodate seemed not to operate as law at all.