Charlie Savage on Romney Team Memo on Interrogation

By Jack Goldsmith
Thursday, September 27, 2012, 12:05 PM

Charlie Savage of the NYT has an interesting piece on a memorandum entitled “Interrogation Techniques” that Savage reports was circulated last year among the Romney campaign’s “National Security Law Subcommittee” – a subcommittee that, Savage  says, “consists of a brain trust of conservative lawyers, most of whom are veterans of the George W. Bush administration.”  (One veteran of the GWB administration not on the subcommittee is yours truly; and this is the first I have heard of this memorandum.)  The memorandum sharply criticizes the Obama administration’s narrowing of late Bush-era interrogation policies and techniques, states that Governor Romney has “has consistently supported enhanced interrogation techniques,” and urges Romney on the campaign trail to “pledge that upon taking office, he will rescind and replace President Obama’s Executive Order restricting government interrogators to the Army Field Manual,” and to “commit his administration to authorizing (classified) enhanced interrogation techniques against high-value detainees that are safe, legal, and effective in generating intelligence to save American lives.”

This document raises many interesting issues about the national security stakes of this campaign.  I am swamped now but will try to address those issues soon.