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Web  Sage Debating torture
Katherine Darmer spoke out against ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’
twin towers
“The Office of Legal Counsel provided legal cover for torture,” Chapman University law professor Katherine Darmer said; while John Yoo defended the policy he helped craft for the Bush administration.

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Chapman University law professor Katherine Darmer, who passed away last week, was outspoken in the debate over the Bush administration's “enhanced interrogation” methods.

At a 2009 forum, Darmer sparred with former Bush administration legal advisor John Yoo, who gained notoriety for his co-authorship of the so-called “torture memos,” which provided the legal rationale for the administration's interrogation policy.

Some highlights from the debate:

“These [interrogation] tactics led us on wild goose chases ... Have these tactics made us safer? They have not, and they have reduced our stature in the world. Even if it is established that torture works, we should make a moral choice to reject it.”
— Katherine Darmer, Professor of Law, Chapman University

“If you completely rule out coercive tactics … that is to say, ‘I am unwilling to do anything but read your Miranda rights and wait for the lawyer to show up,'  I’m afraid these kinds of arguments return us to the overlawyered, timid approach to fighting terrorists."
— John Yoo, Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley

“Waterboarding is not clearly illegal."
— John Eastman, former dean of the Chapman University School of Law

“Torture should always be considered as breaking the law of nature.”
— Lawrence Rosenthal, Professor of Law, Chapman University

See full SageLaw coverage of the debate here.

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