Senator Klobuchar: Is torture a legal issue?


Senator Amy Klobuchar, a former County Attorney, a current member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a possible future Supreme Court nominee, is adept at avoiding legal categories when it suits her purpose.

Last month the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released the Executive Summary of its report on U.S.-committed torture in the post-9/11 era. A friend of mine wrote several members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, suggesting that now, if ever, it was time to push for justice and accountability. Senator Klobuchar responded with a carefully crafted form letter that ignored all legal concepts.
Here was my subsequent reply to Sen. Klobuchar:
Dear Senator Klobuchar,

Reverend Sonja Johnson shared with me a copy of your response to her recent letter to you about holding those responsible for torture accountable.
It scared me.
It scared me because you may well be on future Supreme Court nominee “short lists,” and while Rev. Johnson’s letter focused on law and justice, your response used totally different categories and terminology.
I appreciate that this was a form letter, not written to respond directly to Rev. Johnson, but your response dealt with none of the issues she raised. You wrote of “the troubling interrogation techniques,” that “torture is unacceptable,” and that “the values that define our nation…[were] intentionally disregarded” (emphasis added). The words “crime,” “law,” “justice,” and “accountability” were absent.
The interrogation techniques were not “troubling”; they were criminal. Torture is not “unacceptable”; it is illegal. It’s not that “values” were disregarded but that laws were broken. You write as if something rude, impolite, or not in accord with proper etiquette had been done. 
You either missed or you dodged the Reverend’s point. Your response was troubling, unacceptable, and devoid of those values — legal values — that a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, let alone a Supreme Court Justice, ought to possess.
Chuck Turchick